The World AIDS Day ceremony in Honolulu marked a poignant celebration of community resilience and commitment to the ongoing fight against HIV. Held at the Church of the Crossroads in Moʻiliʻili and broadcast live via Zoom, the event commemorated the 35th anniversary of the nation’s first public health awareness day. Under the theme “Fight Stigma: End AIDS!” this year’s ceremony not only raised awareness but also garnered donations, all of which will support the Maui AIDS Foundation.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Suzanne Richmond-Crum Award by the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health to Keiva Lei Cadena, Director of Harm Reduction Services & Community Engagement with Kumukahi Health + Wellness on Hawaiʻi Island. As a Native Hawaiian woman of trans experience living with HIV, Cadena’s outstanding contributions were recognized, reflecting her advocacy work acknowledged in national media. The event showcased the significance of combating stigma, providing evidence-based sexual health education, and promoting crucial services such as HIV testing and access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), emphasizing the collective commitment to creating a world free from the challenges of HIV and AIDS.
For more information about ongoing efforts and resources, including HIV prevention, sexual health education, and medical case management services, visit the websites of the Hawaiʻi Health & Harm Reduction Center (HHHRC) and World AIDS Day Hawaiʻi. The ceremony featured musical performances, a reception displaying portions of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, and a powerful reminder of the progress made while acknowledging the work that lies ahead in the fight against HIV.