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November 26, 2004

Zimbabwean artists to join in World AIDS Day events

Zimbabwean artists to join in World AIDS Day events

Columbus--Many women and girls are vulnerable to HIV because of the high-risk behaviors of others. This year�s World AIDS Day Campaign slogan, �Have you heard me today?� seeks to raise awareness about, and help address, the HIV and AIDS issues affecting women and girls.

�Have you heard me today?� calls for action against the inequalities that not only put women and girls at risk but whole communities.

The Columbus AIDS Task Force in collaboration with Franklin Park Conservatory and the Columbus Regional Advisory Group will hold a World AIDS Day event at the Franklin Park Conservatory, 1777 East Broad St, on Wednesday, December 1.

HIV awareness activities will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Palm House with a candlelight vigil beginning at 7 p.m. to honor those who have been lost. Entrance to the conservatory will be free after 5 p.m.

The conservatory offers a special environment for this year�s World AIDS Day. The recently opened �Chapungu: Stories in Stone� exhibition features massive stone sculptures created by world-renowned artists of the Shona tribe of Zimbabwe, a country that has been hard-hit by the epidemic.

About one-third of the population of Zimbabwe has succumbed to AIDS, which has reduced the average life expectancy in Zimbabwe from 65 to 39 years.

The artists, who will be in residence at the conservatory through June 2005, will join the World AIDS Day event to share stories and their perspective on what the epidemic has done to their country and their culture.

To volunteer to read names or to submit a name to be included in the reading, call the Columbus AIDS Task Force at 614-2992437 ext. 130, or visit

For more information about the Chapungu: Stories in Stone exhibition, visit

David W. Andris is the director of prevention and education for the Columbus AIDS Task Force.




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