Los Angeles, CA
United States
Lincoln Park, 3600 N. Mission Road The Wall Las Memorias since 2 December 2004
500 names
L.A. County AIDS Czar Mario Perez on the ‘Game-Changing’ Year in HIV/AIDS
Albert “Bobby” Tellez died of AIDS this year. His name was one of 11 etched on The Wall-Las Memorias Project monument marking World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, 2011. The others died over the years, but only now, says Richard Zaldivar, Founder and Executive Director of The Wall, have the families of loved ones been able to face getting permission from the entire extended family to have the lost one’s name engraved on the public art project dedicated to AIDS in Lincoln Park, East L.A.
The other names belong to Sgt. Robert “Baba” Marez, Laurence “Larry” Rosas, Derrick Cross, Craig Louis Brown, Rudy Flores, Robert F. Rendon, Hector Saucedo, Julio F. Argenal, Steven Michael Rhodes and Romeo B. Garcia. Some of their family members were among the more than 300 people who braved the cold in a heated tent commemorating Noche de las Memorias 2011.
The event honored the late Congressman Edward R. Roybal, who was among the first members of the United States Congress to initiate funding for HIV/AIDS programs in 1982, and The Wall’s Associate Director Eddie Martinez, a grassroots leader at The Wall for 15 years, including spearheading the organization’s important fight against crystal meth. Also on hand was Mario Perez, Director of the L.A. County Division of HIV and STD Programs (aka Office of AIDS Programs and Policy), who explained why this was such a historic “game-changing” year in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
But before the policy came the stories from parents, lovers and friends about the people behind those names. Photo © J. Emilio Flores LGBT POV

27 December 2011
Karen Ocamb , Los Angeles