LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - December 1 has marked World AIDS Day since it was founded in 1988, just four years after the virus was identified.
Though we've come a long way since the diagnosis was considered a death sentence, there are still many misconceptions about the disease.
"HIV hasn't gone anywhere,” Health Program Administrator Mark Johnson said. “It's still around, and we still need to make people aware of it and we need to get people tested."
That's the premise behind Bluegrass Black Pride Inc.’s event at The Lyric Theater, A Celebration of Life.
It’s an entertaining way to educate people about a serious topic.
Organizers said this event is not only to honor those who lost their battle with this disease but also to celebrate people who are living with HIV and AIDS.
"We have come so far from the days of wondering when you would die,” Co-Host and Emcee Helena Handbasket said. “Now I know people that are living with HIV that have been living for 30 years and that's worth celebrating."
For the third year, they celebrated with singers, dancers, and testimonies from people who have been affected by the disease but not beaten by it.
"People are living, not just living, but thriving,” Handbasket said. “Life is not over with an HIV diagnosis."
Organizers said the event has grown every year, and they plan to continue hosting it for years to come.