Syphilis is nothing new. "Syphilis has been a problem in Escambia County for as long as the Escambia County Department of Health has been around which is 193 years" said Dr. John Lanza, the director of the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County. But over the past four years the number of cases of the sexually transmitted disease in Escambia County has risen dramatically.
World AIDS Day is commemorated each year on December 1st. Pensacola and surrounding communities held an observance at the Hancock Pavilion at Community Maritime Park Stadium.
The event provided an opportunity support those suffering from HIV and AIDS. Also, it was a time to remember those 1,224 Northwest Florida residents who have lost their lives to the disease. Many of those individuals were honored with AIDS memorial quilts that were hung from the rafters.
There were performances by the Belmont Youth Band and Ballet Pensacola.