Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the number of people lost to AIDS worldwide.
To mark World AIDS Day, several iconic landmarks in Los Angeles will light up red on Thursday evening.
“Union Station, City Hall/Grand Park Fountain, Dignity Health Sports Park, LAX Pylons, and Six Street Viaduct, along with others, will switch their evening architectural lighting to all red to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS, show solidarity in the fight against HIV, and honor those who have died due to HIV disease,” a news release from the L.A. County Department of Public Health said.
World AIDS Day is observed each year on Dec. 1 to honor and remember 40 million people, including over 27,000 L.A. County residents, lost to AIDS/HIV since the epidemic began in the early 80s.
This year’s theme, “Putting Ourselves to the Test: Achieving Equity to End HIV,” spotlights the disproportion effect the disease has on minorities and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
According to the news release, L.A. County estimated 59,400 people live with HIV. In 2021, there were 1,479 new HIV diagnoses reported, mostly among gay men, African Americans, Latinos and transgender persons in the county.
“More than anything, as we honor, on World AIDS Day, those in our communities we lost to this terrible disease, we re-commit ourselves to the work to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which continues to disproportionately impact communities of color and the LGBTQ community,” Barbara Ferrer, the director of Public Health, said in a statement.