|It was a packed house at the Knox County Health Department Saturday Night has the HIV/AIDS Task Force of Western Illinois celebrated World AIDS Day.
The first World AIDS Day was celebrated back in 1988 and from that day on people have been celebrating World AIDS Day on December 1.
Executive Director of the Central Illinois FRIENDS of PWA Michael Maginn has been celebrating World AIDS Day in Galesburg for the past six years or so.
He spoke to the crowd and while he fought back tears he told the crowd the work the HIV/AIDS Task Force of Western Illinois and FRIENDS of PWA does is so important because silence on the matter is deadly.
"If you don't keep the conversation going this disease will disappear from society and we can't let that happen because if not for us it doesn't go any farther. Together we must educate, motivate and mobilize our communities."
Maginn went on to say we must show support for those living with HIV/AIDS and reduce the stigma surrounding those living with the disease.
He says the best way to fight HIV/AIDS is by educating the community about the disease and to never stop talking about it.
Before the tree lighting ceremony Maginn was informed by the Task Force FRIENDS of PWA would be receiving a check for $2,000
The money comes from this years AIDS Walk Galesburg and Maginn says he has plenty of ideas of what the money will be used for.