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World AIDS Day honored in Lincoln Park with The Wall/Las Memorias

World Aids Day

A red ribbon is one of the symbols of World Aids Day

Today is World AIDS Day and Lincoln Park in East Los Angeles is the site for one of many HIV/AIDS awareness events in and around L.A.

The Wall/Las Memorias is a combined work of architecture, landscaping and a mural in a corner of Lincoln Park that commemorates Latinos whose lives were shortened by AIDS and HIV.

Richard Zaldivar, founder and director of the awareness project, said the names of 20 people who died of AIDS are being added to the monument this weekend at the 18th annual Noche de las Memorias — Night of memories. The wall already bears 420 names.

'We have had thousands who have died from our community and we want to give a name to the disease and give them credibility and their due that they are owed," Zaldivar said.

The World AIDS Day annual gathering features music, poetry, prayer and people sharing their memories of loved ones who died.


FDA approves first over-the-counter HIV test kit

Photo: FDA

The OraQuick In-Home HIV Test will be available in stores and online (final packaging may be different).

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on Tuesday the approval of the first over-the-counter, self-administered HIV test kit.

The OraQuick test detects the presence of HIV antibodies via a mouth swab, and returns a result in 20 to 40 minutes.

Of the roughly 1.2 million people carrying HIV in the U.S., 240,000 people, or one-fifth, don't know they're infected, says the CDC. 

Notes the FDA:

A positive result with this test does not mean that an inpidual is definitely infected with HIV, but rather that additional testing should be done in a medical setting to confirm the test result.

Similarly, a negative test result does not mean that an inpidual is definitely not infected with HIV, particularly when exposure may have been within the previous three months.

The test has the potential to identify large numbers of previously undiagnosed HIV infections, especially if used by those unlikely to use standard screening methods.