World AIDS Day quilts were presented during a candlelight event held at Icon on Dec. 7.
On the state at Icon in Tumon, Vince Aguon, a Communicable Disease Control coordinator with the Department of Public Health and Social Services, gave some startling statistics: since 1985, there have been 263 individuals newly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS on Guam as of December 2016. Each year, Guam averages 5 to 10 newly diagnosed cases. And currently, there are more than 80 people living on Guam with HIV/AIDS.
Vince Aguon of the Department of Public Health and Social Services
"If you ask me, one case is just too much," he said.
Aguon was among his colleagues, other HIV/AIDS healthcare providers, advocates, caretakers and others who attended the Dec. 7 World AIDS Day Candlelight Event at Icon. The women of The Untouchables, House of Diosa, hosted the special ceremony before their regular Thursday evening performance.
World AIDS Day is officially held on Dec. 1 and this year there was a vigil held at the Festival Village in Hagatña. The Diosa women, major LGBTQ advocates in the community, aspire to make their ceremony an annual event.
The Untouchables House of Diosa's Scarlett Castro-Dixon, host of the World AIDS Day Candlelight Event.
"I think it's really important to remember those who have lost their battle against AIDS and HIV," Scarlett Castro-Dixon, Diosa girl and host, said.
The evening included a special performance by Miss Queen of the Pacific 2017 third runner-up Heather Sablan who sang the emotional "Brave" by Kesha, while Isa Guam's Lasia Casil offered a prayer for the event.
The evening concluded with all in attendance gathered outside of the icon doors to light candles and offer their own prayers for those affected by HIV/AIDS.
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