MIAMI (CBSMiami) – On the eve of World AIDS Day, the City of Miami is partnering with several organizations to recognize and remember those affected by AIDS. South Florida leads the country in new HIV infections.
The World AIDS Day Walk and Tree of Life Lighting Ceremony, both activities free to the public, will be held Friday afternoon. The events are a partnership between the City of Miami, the Downtown Development Authority and Clear Health Alliance, a Medicaid health plan for people living with HIV/AIDS.
The walk will begin at 5 p.m. at Macy’s, 22 East Flagler Street (downtown). Before the walk, Target will offer makeovers from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
HIV/AIDS advocate and NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson will join organizations, city officials and the community in the march down Flagler Street, which will end at the JFK Friendship Torch.
The Torch, located in front of the Bayside Marketplace, 401 Biscayne Boulevard, will be the site of the Tree of Life Ceremony. The ceremony will begin at 6 p.m.
The organization with the most participants at the World AIDS Day Walk will win $1,000.
The evening’s events will also include holiday music, guest speakers, performers, and a candlelight vigil to honor loved ones that passed away due to AIDS/HIV.
At the vigil, individuals who made significant contributions to the field of HIV and AIDS advocacy will be honored, including the late Petera Johnson, HIV advocate and founder of “Empower U”; the late Alphonse Moise, HIV activist and case manager; and the late Anya Wyman, advocate for women empowerment.