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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: November 29, 2012


HIV/AIDS continues to be one of the most destructive pandemics in history, killing over 1.6 million people worldwide each year. In the U.S. alone, approximately 50,000 new cases will be discovered annually. In Delaware, there are 3,758 who live with this disease, another 800 or more people who have it but do not know it. On December 1, 2012, we observe the 25th annual World AIDS Day, and Delaware's Division of Public Health (DPH) reminds everyone to continue the fight against HIV/AIDS.

"The fight against HIV/AIDS must begin with individuals getting tested. The CDC estimates that for every five people with HIV, one of them doesn't know it or even believe they could have it," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director. "In fact, an astonishing fifty percent of new HIV/AIDS cases are spread by those unaware they are HIV positive. Unintentionally, many are spreading this disease and risking their own health by not receiving treatment. Please do not assume you are free of HIV/AIDS. Get tested. If you test positive, you can be treated."

Treatments are available that reduce the signs and symptoms of the disease, actually reducing the levels of virus in the blood. By testing, you take a step towards furthering prevention and better health outcomes for you and your partner.

The CDC recommends that everyone age 13 - 64 receive routine HIV screenings as part of regular medical care. Men who have sex with men that are not in a monogamous relationship should be tested for HIV at least once a year. Heterosexuals who engage in high-risk sexual practices such as unprotected sex or multiple sex partners and anyone who shares needles for any reason are also encouraged to get tested at least once a year. Testing is also recommended for women considering pregnancy and pregnant women in the early months of pregnancy. Preventive treatment can prevent an HIV positive mother from passing HIV to her baby.

In Delaware, DPH and a host of HIV/AIDS awareness partners continue efforts to educate, treat and prevent HIV/AIDS, but new cases among young homosexual and bisexual men ages 15-29 continue to rise.

"Each year we are sadly reminded that we need more awareness and education about this disease - because the numbers of people contracting HIV/AIDS or dying from it worldwide remain devastatingly high. World AIDS Day reminds us today and everyday the importance of knowing your HIV status. I encourage you to take this time to learn more about preventing HIV/AIDS and how you can help or support those with it." said Secretary Rita Landgraf, Delaware Health and Social Services.

If you have HIV and are not getting treatment, call the Delaware HIV Consortium at 302-654-5471. There is no waiting list for treatment in Delaware.

Visit to find a testing center near you and a counselor that can help determine the safer practices best for you. World Aids Day events scheduled statewide include:

Location and Contact Information Date/Time of Event Summary of Event
AIDS Delaware
Opera Delaware Studios
4 South Polar Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
Contact: Michelle Fitzgerald
November 29,
7:00 p.m.
Join us for an uplifting evening of song with other supporters of HIV/AIDS awareness to remember the lives of those who have died of AIDS. Under the direction of local performing artist, Tommy Fisher-Klein, local musicians will perform in a cabaret style.
Beautiful Gate Outreach Center
Theatre N @ Nemours
1007 N. Orange Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
Contact: Renee Beaman
November 29,
Two screenings-
12:00 noon and 5:30 p.m.
Red Carpet with Director's reception.
"The Gospel of Healing," the documentary by award winning filmmaker Paul Grant that profiles five models of faith-based HIV prevention, treatment and care services targeting African American communities. Beautiful Gate and Bethel AME Church are highlighted. (Partnership event with Delta Sigma Theta, Incorporated, Wilmington. Event free to the public but pre-registration required.
Beautiful Gate Outreach Center
Christina Cultural Arts Center,
705 N. Market Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
Contact: Renee Beaman
November 30,
6:00 p.m.
"The Living Room Series" will feature a candid conversation with women living with HIV (Partnership event with the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Delaware Chapter).
Beautiful Gate Outreach Center
604 N. Walnut Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
Contact: Suzanne S. Tait,
December 1,
11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
BGOC will offer free, rapid (same day results) HIV testing for adults and teens that are 13 years old and above. A valid photo ID is required. Free blood pressure and glucose screening will also be offered. Door prizes all day! Special services will be available to those living with HIV and in need of medical care. All of Beautiful Gate's services are free and confidential.
Latin American Community Center
Waterfall Banquet and Conference Ctr.
3416 Philadelphia Pike
Claymont, DE 19703
Contact: For more information or to RSVP, contact:
Marco Ramos
302-655-7338 x.7721
December 5,
5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
"Acculturation and HIV: The Latino Perspective" Symposium. The symposium will provide cultural awareness and education of the Latino Culture and HIV, specifically the many unique cultural aspects (e.g. acculturation, familismo, and cultural attitudes regarding sex) that impact this community when it comes to protecting themselves against HIV. Dinner will be provided.
Kent Sussex Counseling Services
Kent County
John Wesley Church
211 W. Division Street
Dover, DE 19901
Contact: Constance Johnson
Alternate contact:
Harriet Williams-Glover
December 1,
12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
KSCS will be hosting an event in honor of World AIDS Day in Kent County which will include the following activities:
  • Community Choir
  • Praise Dance
  • Lighting of Remembrance Candles/ Reading of Names
  • Reflections
  • Light refreshments will be served.
CAMP Rehoboth
The Rehoboth Beach Candlelight Walk and Service of Remembrance and Hope. Various locations in downtown Rehoboth Beach.
Contact: Salvatore Seeley
December 1
(Times vary, see next column)
  • Dec 1 - 10:00 - 3:00 pm Free HIV Testing at the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center, 37 Baltimore Avenue in Rehoboth Beach.
  • Dec 1 - 4:30-6:00 pm Reception for World AIDS Day Art Exhibit at the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center, 37 Baltimore Avenue in Rehoboth Beach.
  • Dec 1 - 6:15-6:30 pm Pre-Walk gathering and candle lighting at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand, Rehoboth Avenue at the Boardwalk.
  • Dec 1 - 6:30 pm Candlelight Walk begins at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand and proceeds down Rehoboth Avenue, ending at All Saints' Church, 18 Olive Avenue in Rehoboth Beach.
  • Dec 1 - 7:00 pm Service of Remembrance and Hope-including the reading of the names at All Saints' Church, 18 Olive Avenue in Rehoboth.
  • Dec 1 - 7:45 pm Light supper at All Saints' Episcopal Church.
  • Through December HIV+ Art Exhibit continues at the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center, 37 Baltimore Avenue, Rehoboth Beach.

To volunteer or to have the name of a family member or friend who has died from AIDS added to the list of names to be read at the service - please call CAMP Rehoboth @ 302-227-5620

Kent Sussex Counseling Services
Sussex County
Stein Highway Church of God
425 E. Stein Highway
Seaford, DE 19973 Contact: Haley Truitt
Alternate contact:
Harriet Williams-Glover
December 1,
12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m
KSCS will be hosting an event in honor of World AIDS Day in Sussex County which will include the following activities:
  • Opening Prayer
  • Guest Speaker, Elliot McNeil
  • Praise Dance
  • Releasing of Balloons Ceremony/ Reading of Names

Light refreshments will be served.

La Red Health Center
Iglesia Betel Church
310 South Railroad Ave
Georgetown, DE 19947
Contact: Angel Rivera
December 1,
Health Fair
10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
HIV Memorial Reading
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
In collaboration with Beebe Hospital, La Red Health Center will be participating in this year's annual winter Health Fair at Iglesia Betel Church in Georgetown, Delaware. In honor of World AIDS Day, La Red has secured a guest speaker from the medical field to discuss HIV awareness, health, and safety. To support those living with AIDS, and to honor those who have passed, volunteers will be reading the names of those who have died from AIDS. In addition, La Red will be providing health screenings and HIV testing at the event.

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.