Augusta raises awareness during World AIDs Day

World AIDs Day in Augusta

Did you know in the 13 Georgia counties surrounding the CSRA there are more than 2,000 people living with HIV?

Dec. 1 is World AIDs Day, a day to educate the public on the disease that affects people no matter their age or race.

FOX 54 had the opportunity to talk with a brave girl who was born with HIV. She travels to share her story, because communication is the best prevention of this disease:

Candlelight illuminated outside the Macedonia Baptist Church. Inside, hundreds of people had the opportunity to hear the story of Kayla Quimbley, a 16-year old born with HIV.

"I felt like I had to make a difference, I felt like I had to make a change," said Quimbley.

She admits that it's not easy to talk about living with HIV.

"It took a lot of long nights, a lot of crying, took a lot of tears, but I finally got to the point where I could be myself and embrace who I am," said Quimbley.

Kayla Quimbley shares her story because not talking about it is how it gets spread. It's the reason that World AIDs Day is held and the leaders in Augusta plan events like this one.

"You try to educate and bring education to a community that is not knocking down the door to know about HIV and AIDs. HIV and AIDs is 100 percent preventable and so it's a real big issue here in the area," said Ken Bonds jr., organizer of the event.

For Kayla, it's about speaking out and keeping the conversation going about the disease that has taken the lives of 34 million since 1984.

"To me it means changing lives, helping others to not be scared to speak out and to be who they are, be their original selves, and not to be scared of what people have to say about them because HIV is not a death sentence, you should be able to come out in society and live a normal life get a job, have a family, have kids without being judged. So that's why I speak and spread awareness," said Quimbley.

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