As AIDSFH board chairman Richard Ray noted, "Today is an opportunity for people everywhere to recommit and unite in the fight against new infections. It is a day that reminds us that we must raise awareness, fight stigma and increase education. Imagine telling the next generation that you were part of ending HIV/AIDS."
In the ongoing battling against the disease, State Sen. Rodney Ellis was honored with the Shelby Hodge Vision Award. He was recognized for his work supporting legislation such as mandatory HIV testing for those entering and exiting Texas prisons and supporting free HIV testing initiatives. Licia Green Ellis accepted the award on behalf of her husband, who was unable to attend but addressed the gathering via video.
Dominique Sachse and David Chaumette chaired the luncheon that featured as guest speaker Dr. Brandon Brown, director of the Global Health Research, Education and Translation Initiative at the University of California Irvine. He shared details on his infectious disease research in Peru and the problem of AIDS contagion and stigmatism around the world.
Joining in the program were AIDS Foundation CEO Kelly Young, luncheon honorary chair Travis Torrence and Joni Baird of Chevron, sponsor of the luncheon.
Guests included Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, City Councilwoman Ellen Cohen, City Councilman Ed Gonzalez, George Lancaster, Jessica Rossman and Gordon Bethune, Montrice Malone, Nick Florescu, C.C. Conner and Jackie Martin.