Remembering those lost

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AIDS Walk San Joaquin hosted its 23rd Candlelight Vigil Commemoration Service this Dec. 1st, in order to pay tribute to those lost and affected by AIDS or HIV.

In University of the Pacific’s Morris Chapel, family members and friends of AID victims stood on stage and listed off names of those who passed away from this disease.

Three-hundred and thirty names of the approximate 650 people who have died of AIDS in the San Joaquin County were announced in this commemoration.

“The names we have named this evening are only half that have died in San Joaquin,” said Daniel Corona, Board President of AIDS Walk San Joaquin.

According to aids.gov, the first reported case of AIDS in the United States was in June 1981.

Since then, AIDS has managed to kill 615,000 people.

It is estimated that every nine and a half minutes someone in the United States is infected with HIV.

There are currently 1.1 million people living with this disease today, and according to CDC estimates, 21 percent of those with HIV have no clue they have it.

The AIDS Walk of San Joaquin started 18 years ago and has raised $20,000 this year alone.

That money goes to the San Joaquin Aids Foundation, community medical centers, and San Joaquin community health services.

“Those are the only three agencies (in San Joaquin County) that provide assistance to those infected or affected with AIDS,” said Corona.

At the end of the ceremony, a moment of silence was held for those who have died because of AIDS and the 320 names not called.

This Candlelight Vigil has been held on the UOP campus every year for 16 years.