NEW YORK – To raise public awareness of the global AIDS pandemic on the 25th anniversary of the Centers for Disease Control report that identified the disease, an African village is being re-created June 20-24 in New York’s Grand Central Terminal.
The World Vision AIDS Experience is a 3,000-square-foot interactive exhibit designed to provide an inside view of the pandemic from the hardest-hit continent: Africa. Visitors walk through a replica of a village and experience the impact of AIDS through the eyes of four children whose lives have been affected by the disease. All four children are from sub-Saharan Africa, where about 25.8 million people are now HIV-positive.
A personal audio tour, combined with captivating photography and visuals, leads the visitor in the steps of a 9-year-old orphaned girl who is caring for her niece, a boy who watches his parents die from AIDS, a child from Uganda who has been abducted and forced to join the Lord’s Resistance Army, or a young mother who fears that she may have infected her children with HIV.
More than 700,000 children younger than 15 were infected with HIV last year, according to the World Health Organization – about the same number of people as pass through Grand Central Terminal each day.
The World Vision AIDS Experience is open to visitors for free in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall from June 20 to 24.