Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Carl Kanefsky, Communications Director
(302) 540-4979, Pager
Date: November 29, 2010
Though a preventable disease, the HIV epidemic is far from over. Delaware's Division of Public Health (DPH) in partnership with community HIV/AIDS service providers, send this important reminder in observance of World AIDS Day on December 1. While African Americans make up just 12 percent of the U.S. population, they represent nearly half of the 56,000 new HIV infections that occur each year and half of the more than 14,000 deaths each year, according to the CDC. In Delaware, while African Americans account for 21 percent of the state's population, they account for 66 percent of the total HIV/AIDS cases in the state, according to DPH's HIV surveillance program.
Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director, urges Delawareans to get tested. "We all play a critical role in curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS. It begins with each of us getting the facts, getting tested and getting involved by assisting those in need of HIV/AIDS services," she said.
World AIDS Day is an effort to bring HIV/AIDS to greater attention by motivating communities to organize and demonstrate their support through marches and other public awareness events and by encouraging everyone to make a personal commitment to protect themselves and their partners.
Special commemorative events will be held at several locations in Delaware. Those interested should call the following for specific event locations:
To find a testing site nearest you visit www.hivtest.org/ and type in your ZIP code or call 1-800-232-4636 (1-800-CDC-INFO) or the DPH HIV Prevention Program at 302-744-1050 for more information.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.