Rowan will mark World Aids Day Dec. 1 as Day Without Art

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 28, 2011

For the second year, the Rowan County AIDS Task Force (RCATF) is putting local art under a shroud on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1. This year Victorian-style light poles on the East Innes Street Bridge, the city fountain at the corner of Depot Street and East Innes Street and the Livingstone College bear will be hidden from view for a day.
“We hope this will be a dramatic reminder that so many talented artists died from AIDS,” said Dr. Gordon Senter, RCATF president.
A Day Without Art is also a way to call attention to the 230 men and women living with HIV/AIDS in Rowan County. “Part of our mission is to support the individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS in Rowan County,” said Senter. “When you see a shrouded work of art on Dec. 1, remember those in our community who live with HIV/AIDS every day.”
In Rowan County, HIV/AIDS services are provided by specially trained HIV/AIDS case managers at Rowan Regional Medical Center. Case managers are seeing 95 people with HIV/AIDS. A person with HIV/AIDS does not need to be a patient at the hospital to receive services.
With HIV/AIDS no longer in our daily headlines, many assume the disease has been conquered. AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) has not been cured. But like diabetes, it is now controlled with medications. Today, more people in the United States are living with AIDS than dying from it. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, the incidence of new HIV infections is increasing in the United States and especially in North Carolina. Experts estimate that at least half of those infected by the HIV virus do not know that they have it and they may unknowingly spread the disease to other people.
“The best way to find out if you are infected is to be tested for HIV,” said Senter. “You may ask your doctor to test you or come to the Student Center at Catawba College Dec. 1 where RCATF will be offering free and confidential HIV/AIDS testing between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.”
RCATF thanks the city of Salisbury, Livingstone College, Diversified Graphics, Downtown Salisbury and Fine Frame Gallery for making Day Without Art possible. “We hope A Day Without Art will raise awareness of AIDS in Rowan County,” said Senter.
For more information about local HIV/AIDS services, call Rowan Regional Medical Center at 704-210-5951. The Rowan County AIDS Task Force may be reached through Senter at 704-639-9580.