Coastal Bend community members are recognizing World AIDS Day.
Barton Bailey, the director of the Coastal Bend PRIDE Center said, "We recognize those who are no longer here in our LGBTQ community, and we recognize the medical advancements that provide life-saving opportunities for those who are living with HIV."
As part of World AIDS Day, the PRIDE Center planned an event for Thursday evening, called Life's a Drag. It featured talent from Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Houston, and Women of Draggieland.
"We're going to have music, we're going to have dancing, all kinds of lip syncing and all kinds of dancing as well." said Robert Kymes, the PRIDE Center's assistant director.
The event is also a fundraiser to benefit PRIDE Center Programs.
Staff at the Coastal Bend Wellness Center also dressed in red on Thursday to create a human red ribbon, a symbol for unity in the fight against AIDS and HIV.
December 1 has been recognized as World AIDS Day since 1988. It started as an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV and to commemorate those who died for AIDS.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention 40 million people around the world have died because of aids. Local health officials say Southern states have higher rates of new diagnosis due to higher rates of poverty and stigma and lack of sexual health education. In the Coastal Bend approximately 850 people live with HIV, with more than 30 new infections every year.
There is currently no cure, but health officials encourage prevention methods. They say it's best to practice safe sex or take PrEP medication.