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World AIDS Day recognizes those touched by HIV/AIDS across the globe, but an Elizabethtown church will remember those touched by an epidemic that reached its doorstep.
Metropolitan Community Church in Elizabethtown is hosting a remembrance service 7 p.m. Saturday for World AIDS Day. The church will remember those who have lost their lives in the human immunodeficiency virus/ acquired immunodeficiency syndrome epidemic as well as discuss the current state of HIV/AIDS.
The church has hosted the event for about 15 years, said Beth Mink, a member of the church’s board of directors.
The church is welcoming to the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender community, which has been deeply impacted by HIV infection and AIDS deaths. The church has lost members and friends and so it’s an important issue to the church-goers, Mink said.
Awareness around HIV/AIDS is important because it’s a disease that can affect anyone, and that’s not always well-understood, she said.
“People don’t realize it’s anybody’s mother” or other family and friends who can become infected, she said.
As of June 2011, there have been 243 HIV/ AIDS cases reported in the Lincoln Trail District Health Department’s coverage region since 1982, according to department statistics. There were 142 cases in Hardin County at that point.
The first cases of AIDS were reported in 1981. Since then about 30 million people have died worldwide. About 34.2 million are living with HIV, with about 1.1 million of those in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or email@example.com.