12/01/2011 11:15 am ET

World AIDS Day In Chicago: Events Around Town Commemorate Day

Chicago joins cities and towns throughout the world Thursday, Dec. 1, in commemorating World AIDS Day with a myriad of events around town.

The day, first declared in 1988, is dedicated to the remembrance of those who have died from AIDS -- estimated at 25 million people -- as well as honoring those who live with HIV -- some 33.4 million people -- worldwide. The day is intended to increase awareness of the disease which this year marks the 30th anniversary of its 1981 discovery.

The Chicago Department of Public Health will host the city's first-ever Google+ hangout beginning at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in honor of the occasion. The hangout will be streamed live on the mayor's livestream page and will feature a dialog between the department's commissioner Bechara Choucair, Windy City Times editor and co-founder Tracy Baim, AIDS Foundation of Chicago CEO David Munar and activist Rae Lewis Thornton.

Below is a rundown of several other events commemorating World AIDS Day in Chicago this week. Click here [PDF] for a more complete listing and also be sure to visit the Windy City Times' summary of events happening around town.

Day With(out) Art: In partnership with Visual AIDS, the Art Institute, 111 S. Michigan, hosts a noon talk in honor of prominent artists who died of HIV/AIDS-related complicated. The "Day With(out) Art" gallery is open from 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. and is free to access with museum admission.

Free HIV testing: Anonymous rapid HIV oral swab testing is available at the Howard Brown Health Center's Brown Elephant store, 5404 N. Clark, from 2-5 p.m. Extended HIV testing is also available at the center's main base, 4025 N. Sheridan, and at the Broadway Youth Center for individuals 24 and under, from 1-7:30 p.m. at 3179 N. Broadway.

Candlelit altars with Vida/SIDA: Vida/SIDA hosts a ceremony of remembrance followed by a community reception at Clemente High School, 2625 W. Division, beginning at 5 p.m.

World of Chocolate: AIDS Foundation of Chicago throws their 10th annual winter fundraising soiree at the Chicago Hilton and Towers, 720 S. Michigan. The event features deliciously sweet creations from over 30 of the city's best restaurants, caterers and chocolatiers. The event begins at 6 p.m.

World AIDS Day prayer service: St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Immaculate Conception and Bonaventure House host a prayer service in honor of the day, followed by a reception. The event begin at 6:30 p.m. at St. Joseph's, 1107 N. Orleans.

Mondo Guerra at Center on Halsted: On Friday, the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted, hosts "Project Runway" season eight runner-up Mondo Guerro in honor of World AIDS Day. Guerro made headlines after he came out as HIV-positive during the series. The event begins at 6 p.m. with a cash bar and light hors d’oeuvres, with the event to follow at 7 p.m. RSVP at to reserve your seat to this free event.