Five ways to observe World AIDS Day

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Update: Make that four ways: We've just received this notice from Planned Parenthood's Monica McCafferty.

Due to unpredictable and incremental weather and road conditions, we are canceling this evening's candlelight vigil at the Capitol in honor of World AIDS Day. We will reschedule the event for a time in 2012 and will be sure to keep the public informed about future plans to honor and remember those living and/or impacted by HIV. Planned Parenthood thanks all our coalition partners and speakers who dedicated their time in anticipation of this event. Partners and speakers include ONE Colorado, Dr. Mark Thrun of Denver STD/HIV Prevention Training Center, Colorado Organizations Responding to AIDS (CORA), The GLBT Community Center of Colorado, Dr. Benjamin Young with Rocky Mountain Cares, Sen. Lucia Guzman (D-34) and Rev. Jessie Nelson, pastor of St. Paul United Methodist & Inter-Spiritual Community.

Now read on for the remaining four observances.

It's been thirty years since the first cases of AIDS were diagnosed. In the decades since, great strides have been made in the treatment of a disease that first broke as an incurable scourge in the early '80s. But though people still live with it here in the United States, the real focus of the AIDS story has shifted overseas.

AIDS has truly become a global issue, rather than a disease that only seems to attack a fringe group of people. AIDS is a reality for mothers, fathers, children -- entire families -- and that's why continued testing remains an important tool in the fight against it. That's also why today is World AIDS Day.

It's an international crisis now, and here are five ways you can observe it:

-Get Tested: Every ten minutes, someone in the U.S. succumbs to HIV; one in five of those individuals don't know they have the disease. Testing is available at numerous metro locations today; get the list at the Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains website.

-Remember those who've died: The St. Paul United Methodist Inter-Spiritual Community will conduct a Service of Remembrance and Celebration today from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Center.

-Eat cake: On the lighter side, a slew of area bakeries are creating red ribbon cupcakes in commemoration of the day. Find the list of those participating in Get Your Cake On on this Facebook event page.

-Buy a ticket to the Red Ball: The chi-chi annual fashion event that benefits the Colorado AIDS Project actually will go down on Sunday, December 4, at Exdo, beginning at 7 p.m.; tickets are $30 to $75.

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