You might not have plans to swing by a ritzy charity event at Bono's house for World AIDS Day Saturday, Dec. 1, but that doesn't mean you can't do your part from Chicago.
Get tested, donate to a homeless youth shelter that helps LGBT young people with HIV/AIDS or attend a benefit for Chicago's transgender community: Options abound.
Though there was a drop in new HIV infections during the past 10 years, roughly 34 million people have HIV in the world. Last year, about 2.5 million people became infected with the disease.
The Center on Halsted holds an event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on World AIDS Day. At the center, 3656 N. Halsted St., free rapid HIV testing will be offered all day. Speakers, panels, food, art shows and more are also planned. Visit the center's site for more info.
At the Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse Ave., on Saturday, TransActions will hold the Legends Ball, an awards and performance event to benefit transgender social services in Chicago. Performers from the Baton Show Lounge will entertain, and the show starts at 7 p.m.
At the event, for which a $25 donation is requested, HIV testing will also be available. For more details, visit the Mayne Stage web site.
Queer Fest America also will hold a concert to benefit El Rescate, one of the few LGBT homeless youth shelters in the nation, according to Queer Fest America founder Lair Scott.
"It's a demographic that's in need, in dire need, especially in wintertime," he said. "They have no place to go."
The showcase will feature bands including David Bowie tribute band Stardust, The Cathy Santonies, The Recruitment and Ez Kabage. Attendees are asked to bring blankets and winter coats, but there is no cover charge. The show starts at 8 p.m. at The Mutiny, 2428 N. Western Ave.
The Illinois Department of Public Health will also hold a health fair at the Chathan 14 Theaters, 210 W. 87th St., on Friday. The department will screen the documentary, "Endgame: AIDS in Black America," hold panel discussions about HIV/AIDS and offer free HIV and hepatitis C testing at the free event.
For more activities on World AIDS Day, visit the AIDS Foundation of Chicago's web site.
Wire services contributed to this report.
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