URMC Marks World AIDS Day with Symposium, Concert, Vigils

Nov. 22, 2011

As the world approaches the 23rd anniversary of World AIDS Day, recent developments in global vaccine research are providing a glimmer of hope that an effective vaccine might be within reach. The University of Rochester Medical Center’s Developmental Center for AIDS Research (D-CFAR), the Rochester Victory Alliance (RVA) and other community groups have teamed up to sponsor a day of events on Thursday, Dec. 1.

A symposium consisting of a keynote address and a poster session will begin at 9 a.m. in URMC’s Class of ’62 Auditorium and is free and open to the public. Ashley T. Haase, M.D., will give the address titled “Lessons from the Earliest Stages of Infection in the Quest to Prevent HIV-1 Transmission to Women.” Haase is Regent’s professor and head of the Department of Microbiology at the University of Minnesota. His talk will focus on viral vulnerabilities in early infection in women and how understanding early events can help develop effective strategies to prevent HIV-1 transmission. Haase’s talk will run from 9 to 10 a.m.

The poster session will take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Flaum Atrium (adjacent to the Class of ’62 Auditorium).

At 6:30 p.m. a candlelight vigil will take place at Liberty Pole Way. The vigil is sponsored by Our Faith Lights the Way, a national HIV testing campaign and movement of faith communities working to stop the stigma and shame associated with HIV/AIDS, educate the public about the disease, and encourage and support HIV testing.

From 7 to 8 p.m. Rev. Dr. Kenneth Q. James, pastor of Memorial AME Zion Church will speak at the fifth annual Candlelight Prayer Vigil Ceremony at the church located at 549 Clarissa St. The vigil is sponsored by Memorial AME Zion Church and RAPHA Ministries.

The day’s events will conclude with the 11th annual PeaceArt World AIDS Day Concert at 7 p.m. Hochstein Performance Hall, 50 N. Plymouth Ave. The concert will feature Darren Stevenson of Push Physical Theatre, RIT/NTID Dance Group, Marsha Jones, Sharon Peters and Abby Coughlin, Sh’cheenah Glory Voices of Praise and others. Proceeds from the concert will benefit Safe Sex, Inc. a student-run organization that is partnered with AIDS Care, the City of Rochester and Metro Council for Teen Potential. Tickets for the concert are $5 for students, $10 for general admission, and are available at OutLandish, 274 Goodman St. North, and Equal Grounds Coffee House, 750 South Ave., Rochester.

For more information about World AIDS Day or the events, visit D-CFAR or the Rochester Victory Alliance. For additional information about the concert or group sales, contact Rev. Scotty Ginett at