Here’s how San Francisco’s Castro will commemorate World AIDS Day

November 18, 2022

San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood is going to commemorate World AIDS Day on Dec. 1 with a sidewalk chalk art event, according to a press release.

As part of INSACRIBE, people can write the names of friends and relatives who died of acquired immune deficiency syndrome with lightly-colored chalk on the sidewalks of the neighborhood.

Containers of chalk will be placed prominently for interested people to use.

“The public is invited to reflect and remember the friends, loved ones and neighbors lost to AIDS and INSCRIBE their names on the sidewalks of Castro Street from 17th to 19th Streets in brightly colored chalk, among the bronze plaques of the Rainbow Honor Walk that are affixed to the sidewalks, honoring gay and civil rights leaders,” the press release stated.

Since the AIDS epidemic was first recognized 41 years ago, 675,000 Americans have died, including over 25,000 in San Francisco alone. The human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS, has been able to be virally suppressed with medication in many cases since the mid-1990s, though access is sometimes challenging. But as KRON4 previously reported, 72 San Franciscans died in 2020 from HIV-related causes, 2019 saw 70 deaths, 2018 saw 73 and 2017 saw 83.

At 2 p.m., the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will provide a blessing at the Hibernia Beach (in front of the Bank of America at 18th and Castro streets) and a DJ will be playing disco music “celebrating the lost generation.”

There’ll also be a special Muni bus between the Castro and the National AIDS Memorial in Golden Gate Park, which is the only federally-designated memorial for those who’ve died of AIDS, where other events will be held Dec. 1. The free shuttle will run every half-hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Castro and Market streets, in front of the former location of Pottery Barn.

There is no cost to participate in INSCRIBE, which was founded by George Kelly, a long-term survivor of HIV.


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