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Thrive Alabama, UAH team up to raise awareness on World Aids Day

There are more than 15,000 people living with HIV in Alabama and 45% of cases have progressed to an AIDS diagnosis.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Thrive Alabama and the University of Alabama in Huntsville partnered up on December 1 to bring awareness to World Aids/HIV Day.

There are more than 15,000 people living with HIV in Alabama and 45% of cases have progressed to an AIDS diagnosis. Thrive Alabama and UAH teamed up to host a reception on Wednesday featuring a new community art installation and an AIDS memorial quilt.

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"Here we are many years later, still acknowledging World AIDS Day, and really it was started to create an opportunity to remember people that we've lost to HIV and AIDS," said Thrive Alabama Health Director Erin Bortel. "There's a lot that we can do individually to help curve or binge the curve. First of all, personal responsibility, the number one thing people can do is know this HIV status."

According to Thrive Alabama, 36 million people worldwide have died of AIDS and 38 million people worldwide are currently living with HIV.

The new community art installation is themed as "Preparing for Zero." Thrive Alabama says the works of art are "thoughtful meditations on the panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt." The handmade, 54-ton tapestry is a memorial to more than 105,000 individual lives lost to AIDS.