Organization celebrates World AIDS day with program focused on honoring women

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - People those in the fight against HIV and AIDS came together Friday night for the annual World Aids Day gala put on by Brothers United Inc.

This year, the organization that primarily focuses on men with the disease decided to shift their eyes to another group. The organization as been serving the Indianapolis community for more than 15 years through HIV prevention, care, and support. But, they realized they were leaving out another group who could also use their help, women.

"To get the knowledge, to get the awareness and the education to the people because unfortunately people of color, people in the LGBT community and women in particular are most impacted by HIV even in 2017," Executive Director, Terrell Parker said.

Women like Zaniya James who's HIV positive says she's struggled with not finding services in our area. Now she's celebrating what she already knew. Just last month the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent a letter confirming for the first time that a person living with HIV who has an undetectable viral load due to properly taking their medication cannot transmit the virus to others.

"For the CDC saying it now it's like well instead of us having skepticism and assumptions now we have the proof of it. But the proof of it is we've had the proof. It's been in our bodies, it's been in our test results and everything for years," Zaniya said.

The group was encouraged by a man who's no stranger to the fight.

"I am the oldest living person in Indiana with 40 years with HIV/AIDS," Harold Brown said.

Brown joined the celebration simply to show there's life after a diagnosis.

"It's a montage of attacks upon the body, the mind, the soul and it's our job to encourage each other, to live valiantly, to believe in ourselves and those who loves us and we can make it," Brown said.

To learn more about Brothers United Inc. click here.