Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Date: November 22, 2011
Despite progress, HIV/AIDS remains one of the most frightening yet preventable diseases of our time, killing over 25 million people worldwide from 1981 to 2007 and identifying itself as one of the most destructive pandemics in history. Delaware's Division of Public Health (DPH) asks all Delawareans to unite in the fight against this disease and, as part of the world community, observe the 24th annual World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.
"World AIDS Day marks an opportunity to educate Delawareans on preventing this devastating disease and the community resources available to help," said Gov. Jack Markell. "With partners in our communities, we will continue to work every day to prevent more Delawareans from being infected with HIV/AIDS, and to treat those with the disease with the utmost care and compassion."
Delaware has more than 3,600 people battling this disease-two-thirds who are African Americans. Long-term and steady efforts by DPH and its partners continue to educate, treat and prevent HIV/AIDS. However, new cases among young homosexual and bisexual men ages 15-29 are rising, from 15 cases in 2001 to 31 in 2010.
"Now more than ever it is important that people get tested if they are at risk of being infected," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director. "This is because people who test positive can be treated and treatment is prevention. The drugs that are available today often reduce the levels of virus in the blood to such low levels that they are unlikely to infect others."
For those coping with HIV/AIDS, there is hope. New studies are encouraging, showing that proper treatment of HIV/AIDS can not only extend the healthy life of those with HIV, but can also greatly decrease the chances of transmission. If you have HIV and are not getting treatment, please call the Delaware HIV Consortium at 302-654-5471. There is no waiting list for treatment in Delaware! Go to www.hivtest.org to find a testing center near you and a counselor that can help you figure out which safer practices are best for you.
World Aids Day events scheduled statewide include:
NEW CASTLE COUNTY
|Dec. 1 7 p.m.||AIDS Delaware Opera Delaware 4 South Poplar St. Wilmington, DE 19801||Sponsoring a cabaret that celebrates life through music. Contact: Michelle (302) 652-6776|
|Dec. 1 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.||Beautiful Gate Outreach Center 604 N. Walnut St. Wilmington, DE 19801||
"A Healthier Community Starts With You - Get Tested!" Free, rapid HIV antibody testing with same day results from 9 a.m. - 3
p.m. Valid photo ID required. Free blood pressure and glucose screening also offered. Assistance to access medical care and
other supportive services also available to those living with HIV. Contact: Suzanne Tait (302) 472-3002 Website at: www.Bgate.org
|Dec. 1 5 - 8 p.m.||Latin American Community Center Waterfall Banquet and Conference Center 3416 Philadelphia Pike Claymont, DE 19703||"Entre Nos-Religion, Sexual Morality and HIV" Speaker will address how religious beliefs and relationship dynamics can influence HIV infection. Personal testimony will be made by an individual affected and infected with HIV/AIDS. Contact: Marco Ramos (302) 655-7338 ext. 7721|
|Dec. 1 6 p.m.||Kent/Sussex Counseling ServicesJohn Wesley Church 217 W. Division St. Dover, DE 19904||Guest speaker, reading of the names of those who have passed, and music soloist. Refreshments served after the event. Contact: Constance Johnson (302) 382-7284|
|Dec. 1 4:30 p.m.||CAMP Rehoboth 37 Baltimore Ave. Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971||"Service of Remembrance and Hope" Begins at Camp Rehoboth with a reception for the World AIDS Day Art Exhibit. Afterward, there will be a gathering for a candlelight walk leading to All Saint's Church on Olive Avenue for a remembrance service and light supper at 7:45 p.m. Contact: (302) 227-5620|
|Dec. 1 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.||La Red Health Center The Circle Georgetown, DE 19947||Information on HIV/STDs At 5-5:30 p.m. there will be a moment of remembrance along with lighting of the candles and reading of the names of those who have passed. Light refreshments. Contact: Angel Rivera (302) 236-0514|
|Dec. 1 6 p.m.||Kent/Sussex Counseling ServicesGrace Tabernacle of Deliverance Church 136 Brooklyn Ave. Laurel, DE 19956||Candlelight vigil including a guest speaker, praise team performance, and reading of the names of those who have passed. Refreshments served after the event. Contact: Haley Truitt (302) 387-5495|
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.