RECOGNIZING WORLD AIDS DAY
Free HIV Testing
ORLANDO — December 1 is World AIDS Day, a time to remember those who we have lost to this pandemic, and this year marks the 22nd anniversary of World AIDS Day. The Orange County Health Department and Place of Comfort along with other community partners and AIDS activists will commemorate World AIDS Day with vocal performances, dance troupes, a motorcycle rally, and a local quilt display from 4:00 pm - 8:30 pm at Joy Metropolitan Community Church at 2351 S. Ferncreek, Orlando Wednesday, December 1st, 2010. The program and candlelight vigil will take place from 6:00 pm – 8:30pm. Free HIV rapid testing will also be available from 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm.
“Millions of people continue to be infected with HIV every year. Getting tested for HIV and knowing your status is an important choice you can make during World AIDS Day,” said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, Director of the Orange County Health Department.
In 2009, The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) estimates that over 33.3 million people were living with HIV, including 2.5 million children. In Florida, the Bureau of HIV/AIDS in Tallahassee estimates that 135,000 individuals were living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2009 with an estimated 20% unaware of their HIV status. 5,608 individuals were newly diagnosed with HIV in Florida in 2009.
World AIDS Day is the day when individuals and organizations from around the world come together to bring attention to the global, national, and local AIDS pandemic. While we have come a long way since 1988, there is still much more to be done. The theme for World AIDS Day 2010 is “Universal Access and Human Rights”. Global leaders have pledged to work towards universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care, recognizing these as fundamental human rights. Valuable progress has been made in increasing access to HIV/AIDS services, yet greater commitment is needed around the world if the goal of universal access is to be achieved. In low- and middle-income countries, less than half of those in need of antiretroviral therapy are receiving it, and too many do not have access to adequate care services.
The protection of human rights is fundamental to combating the global HIV and AIDS pandemic. By promoting individual human rights, new infections can be prevented and people who have HIV can live free from discrimination.
For more information about the World AIDS Day event please call (407) 539-0885 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org