Mission Undetectable: World AIDS Day Luncheon Celebrated in Houston
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus known as HIV, and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome known as AIDS, affect many of the world’s populations. In America nearly 50% of people living with HIV/AIDS live in the South. It’s critical to support organizations that help contribute to progress and new advancements in finding cures, as well as help those that support outreach programs.
The 2017 World AIDS Day Luncheon: Mission Undetectable, chaired by Caroline Starry and Jeff Gremillion, was held Friday, December 1st 2017. Guests gathered at the Hilton Houston Post Oak Hotel to honor the Houston Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of HIV/STD and Viral Hepatitis Prevention on their innovative programs addressing HIV/AIDS. The Bureau was awarded the Shelby Hodge Vision Award, accepted by Bureau Chief Marlene McNeese. Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner was the presenter of the prestigious award.
The luncheon benefited the AIDS Foundation Houston, Inc. and Avenue 360 Health & Wellness. These organizations have joined together to contribute to the role of suppressing new infections while helping those who have HIV by offering a wide variety of high quality care. The organizations combine the human side and medical side of HIV care for the person affected.
Also in attendance was the incredible keynote speaker, Greg Louganis. Louganis is an HIV advocate, LGBT activist, and one of the greatest Olympic divers in all of history, winning multiple gold medals in the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics.
Greg Louganis’ story of courage, strength, and bravery throughout his diving career, is one that speaks to the masses. His tireless perseverance to push forward and compete for the Summer 1988 Olympic Games while secretly battling his HIV diagnosis, was a life decision that will be remembered forever. Amongst his struggle he ended up winning double gold medals in springboard and platform. A few years later he publicly announced his HIV positive status and his sexuality as a gay man.
Health care today is evolving and it is crucial as a nation to always address important issues in our world in a positive and helpful way. Addressing HIV/AIDS and creating a proactive movement is important in today’s society.
Photos by Morris Malakoff, The CKP Group