Watermark’s Top headlines of 2017

By : Watermark Staff
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2017 was a roller coaster of a year. Our highs were marked with great achievements and big celebrations, and our lows were filled with the passing of great LGBTQ leaders and fear-filled headlines we thought we would never read.

Below we look back on the top 5 LGBTQ headlines out of Central Florida, Tampa Bay, from the state of Florida and across the nation, and the world.

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2016 World AIDS Day events round-up

By : Watermark Staff
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The 28th Annual World AIDS Day is Dec. 1. From the early morning hours of that day at the YMCA in Ocala to the not-as-early morning hours of Saturday’s AIDS Walk in St. Pete, the community will be honoring the memories and celebrating the lives of those impacted by HIV/AIDS.

World AIDS Day is held on the first of December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held for the first time in 1988.

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Florida advocate fights HIV through social media

By : Wire Report
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SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) – As she’s done hundreds of times, Maria Mejia stepped up to the podium, scanned the audience, took a deep breath and shared her story.

At 18, she learned she was HIV positive. By 28, she had AIDS. Those diagnoses eventually launched her on a mission to raise awareness about HIV prevention and the sometimes harsh realities of living with the virus.

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Real survival stories behind the Faces of HIV exhibit coming to Orlando

By : Madelaine3711
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Orlando – Joee Pineda came out to his Honduran parents as a 16-year-old at Colonial High School. The parent/child struggle over his sexuality caused him to leave town after graduation for New York City.

A year later, Pineda came down with a “cold” he couldn’t shake. He moved back with his parents in Orlando. At 19, he was diagnosed with HIV and given 5 years to live. That was 1990.

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