Galesburg, IL
United States
Knox Co. Health Dept., 1361 W. Fremont St. Western Illlinois HIV/AIDS Memorial Garden since 1 December 2004
4 names
AIDS in a time of hope
They stood in Wednesday evening’s cold darkness, bathed in the glow cast by red lights strung on a tree planted outside the Knox County Health Department in 2004. The people — 25 or so, one as young as 4 and others past Social Security age — came to recognize World AIDS Day. Jewel Winters, right, and Judy Britt, left, place a ribbon on the tree. The theme for this year is “Universal Access and Human Rights.” Simply, World AIDS Day seeks to make people more aware of HIV and AIDS, fight the stigma and prejudice against those who have it, and improve education about how to prevent infection and its spread. The theme of access and the right to treatment is a response to the fact that advances in drug therapies have made HIV a manageable chronic illness.
For Judy Britt, the goal of World AIDS Day is simple. “It would be nice if people — and there are more now than ever before — knew that HIV and AIDS is not just a gay disease,” said Britt, whose HIV-positive son died from cancer in 2006. Marty Britt was 39 when he died. He was one of the founders of the Galesburg-based HIV/AIDS Task Force of Western Illinois. That group sponsored the remembrance tree in front of KCHD and organizes its annual lighting on World AIDS Day.
Photos © Nick Adams The Register-Mail

1 December 2010
Tom Loewy, Galesburg, IL