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World AIDS Day is observed on December 1st to raise awareness about the HIV/AIDS pandemic and to remember those who have lost their lives to the disease. It is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for those living with the virus, and educate others about prevention and treatment. 

LET COMMUNITIES LEAD – WORLD AIDS DAY 2023

Communities across the world are leading the way in the fight against HIV/AIDS, which is why ‘Let Communities Lead’ is the theme for World AIDS Day 2023. 

“This World AIDS Day is more than a celebration of the achievements of communities; it is a call to action to enable and support communities in their leadership roles. World AIDS Day 2023 will highlight that to unleash the full potential of community leadership to enable the end of AIDS” – UNAIDS.

UNAIDS is the joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS that unites 11 UN organisations.  

World AIDS Day Fundraiser for The Mildmay Mission Hospital at Zodiac Bar on 1st December 2023.

Jason Reid and Zodiac Bar present World AIDS Day in aid of Mildmay Mission Hospital.

QX asked the activist, social media influencer, journalist and producer Jason Reid to tell us about what World AIDS Day means to him and also tell us about the fabulous event he is putting on with our family at Zodiac Bar on December 1st in aid of Mildmay Mission Hospital. cleardot.gif

Hello, Jason. Thank you for taking the time to share with us; I know that you’re very busy preparing for your World AIDS Day event at Zodiac Bar. What does World AIDS Day mean to you? 

For me, World AIDS Day is about taking stock and paying tribute to the millions of people who have died as a result of AIDS over the past 40 years – be they friends, lovers or strangers. 

I strongly believe that World AIDS Day ought to be marked in one way or another forevermore in order to honour the memories of those lost and educate future generations about the profound impact that AIDS had on LGBTQ+ people and the community in particular. 

There’s also a part of me that worries about history being whitewashed by those in power, so the accounts of those who recall the AIDS crisis, and people like me who survived AIDS, are of vital importance. 

Jason Reid raising funds for Mildmay Mission Hospital at Zodiac Bar on World AIDS Day.

As an AIDS survivor, I speak and write about my experiences in order to empower and educate others, and break down stigma — World AIDS Day is the perfect vehicle to do this and reach people with these conversations that we wouldn’t ordinarily reach. 

You’d be surprised how many people who follow me on Twitter alone, have remarked about not knowing what U=U is. I’m glad that I’m educating people with my HIV/AIDS posts.

World AIDS Day is also the perfect time to stand in solidarity with those who are still suffering across the world today because of HIV/AIDS, and raise money for charities that continue to provide care, education and support. 

You’re hosting an event that is in support of Mildmay Mission Hospital. What should we know about this hospital? 

When I was a patient at Mildmay in 2005 (I was in the old Victorian building, which opened in 1892; the new building was opened by Prince Harry in 2014), it served more as a hospice, which was its primary function since the onset of the AIDS crisis in the early 80s. 

I was treated for AIDS dementia and neurological impairment (basically, I had to learn to read, write and walk unaided again) after a nasty bout of cryptococcal meningitis. 

Patients go to Mildmay after acute care in an NHS hospital and remain for as long as their treatment requires (and the funding is available). 

In the last few years, Mildmay also began admitting homeless patients who require specialist detox care for addiction.

With HIV patients, Mildmay sometimes receives those who are ageing and struggling socially, who don’t adhere to their medication, so they do still see patients with AIDS. 

Mildmay’s social work team strives to ensure that, once discharged, its patients have somewhere safe to go, whether in their own homes, sheltered accommodation or a hostel, rather than just be discharged out on the street. This is a unique part of Mildmay’s service.

Without spoiling any surprises, what can we expect on the night?

Well, it’s going to be camp, that’s for sure. But that’s a given with me. Taking place at the fabulous Zodiac bar which is very close to Euston station, cabaret stars Chanelle and Chanel N°5 will be hosting and performing so you can expect plenty of singalongs and cheeky repartee, plus we have Amrick Channa, Sugar and a few more guest artists lined up. 

There will be a raffle on the night – prizes have been kindly donated by Prowler, Stonewall Spirits, The Clapham Grand and Royal Vauxhall Tavern.

World AIDS DAY Celebrity Auction in aid of Mildmay Mission Hospital

If that wasn’t enough, I’ve been badgering celebs for auction items and we’ll be auctioning off lots which have been so generously donated by Boy George, Graham Norton, Divina De Campo and more.

Entry is free because we want to make the event accessible to all; all we ask is that if you can donate on the door – please do. 

It’s going to be a fun night. The Zodiac team and everyone who’s helped to make the event happen has been a dream to work with. Now to raise lots of money for Mildmay which is so close to my heart.  

Entry is FREE, but a donation is encouraged.

Tickets available at https://www.outsavvy.com/event/16865/jason-reid-and-zodiac-bar-proudly-presents-world-aids-day-2023-with-chanelle-and-chanel

World AIDS Day in aid of Mildmay starts at 8 pm at Zodiac Bar, 119 Hampstead Road,  London NW1 3EE, United Kingdom.

There are several events in London that we can support, and QX has listed some of them (this list is not exhaustive). 

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