AIDS monument in West Hollywood tells tragic story of last major pandemic before COVID-19 – NBC Los Angeles

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pride celebrations in West Hollywood are different in 2021. There are rainbow flags and signs, but far away from the hundreds of thousands of visitors who typically take to the streets .

However, a major event is taking place this year.

On Saturday, the ‘AIDS monument’ which will stand right next to the West Hollywood Public Library will tell the tragic story of the last great pandemic – long before COVID-19, which wreaked havoc on the LGBTQ community ago. 40 years.

“We have suffered from a global pandemic that is not yet over. Seven hundred and fifty thousand Americans have died of AIDS, ”said Irwin Rappaport, director of the Foundation for the AIDS monument.

The Trevor Project CEO Amit Paley said his organization was reaching out this month to LGBTQ youth, and especially vulnerable black LGBTQ youth, despite the cancellation of Pride events due to COVID-19.

“I was infected in 1980, so my whole life had the AIDS pandemic in the background,” says Phill Wilson, vice president of the foundation.

The monument, Willson says, will tell all the stories of AIDS, including its devastating impact on people of color, like him.

To date, he points out that 42% of new HIV infections occur in the black community, four decades after the onset of AIDS.

The renderings they shared with NBCLA show 15-foot pillars on a 7,000-square-foot property.

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