For Immediate Release
Mike Heideman, 785-296-4363
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s HIV/AIDS Program has committed to testing at least 1,000 Kansans in observance of the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day on December 1. The commitment was made to the World AIDS Day Project AIDS Healthcare Foundation, whose goal is to test 1 million people for HIV from November 26 until December 1.
“We encourage anyone who has had a risk for exposure to HIV to get tested, get educated and get treatment this World AIDS Day,” said L. William Lyons, director of the HIV/AIDS program at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). “HIV testing is widely available at county health departments, community-based organizations and private providers.”
Early detection is vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle if diagnosed with HIV. Counseling and testing helps provide people with HIV/AIDS with the knowledge they need to protect their own health and that of their partners, and helps people who test negative get the information they need to stay uninfected.
There is an estimated 4,000 cumulative HIV and AIDS cases in Kansas. Of the cumulative AIDS cases, 19 percent are among blacks, 69.8 percent are among whites and 9 percent are among Hispanics. Of the cumulative HIV (not AIDS) cases, 26.4 percent are among African Americans, 57.4 percent are among whites, and 12.5 percent are among Hispanics. African Americans comprise 6 percent of the state’s total population; Hispanics comprise 8.6 percent. Members of racial and ethnic communities may be at increased risk due to a variety of factors not limited to but including socioeconomic factors, access to healthcare and generally greater reluctance to be tested for HIV.
It is also estimated that 50 to 70 percent of new HIV infections are transmitted by those who are unaware of their infection. Early testing and diagnosis play a key role in reducing the spread of HIV. Persons at high risk for HIV infection should be screened annually. The CDC recommends that persons ages 13-64 get tested for HIV to help stop the spread of the disease, regardless of their perceived risk.
Many events are planned throughout Kansas in recognition of World AIDS Day:
Tuesday, December 2, 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.
HEAT! Red Party featuring Miss Monica Moree - free HIV testing
PJ’s Pub 1129 Laramie, Manhattan.
Wednesday, December 3, 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Free HIV Testing at the KSU Union, West Ballroom
Kansas State University, Manhattan.
Wednesday, December 3, 9 p.m. - 2 a.m.
‘Rock the Red’ AIDS Benefit Concert - Free HIV Testing - Prizes for those that are tested at the Kathouse Lounge, 1111 Moro St., Manhattan
Thursday, December 4, 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Latino Nights featuring DJ Luis - Free HIV Testing
PJ’s Pub 1129 Laramie Manhattan
For more information, contact the Regional AIDS Project (Region 6) at 785-587-1999 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Riley County-Manhattan Health Department is sponsoring a World AIDS Day Awareness Week. For more information about any of the following activities, contact the health department at 785-776-4779.
Monday, December 1
Meet at the triangle park at 6 p.m. in Aggieville, and bring your flashlight! Participants will walk to the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 700 Poyntz, Manhattan. A memorial service will take place at the church at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, December 2 – Friday, December 5
A panel of the NAMES Quilt will be on display each day in the court yard of the KSU Union between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Tuesday, December 2
Dancing and activities with free HIV testing beginning at 10 p.m. at PJ’s Pub, 1129 Laramie, Manhattan.
Wednesday, December 3
Jade Esteban Estrada will perform at the KSU Union Main Ballroom at 7 p.m. Then at 9 p.m., the Kathouse lounge will host live bands and free HIV testing.
Thursday, December 4
“The Stigma and the Virus” will be presented in the Flint Hills Room starting at
7 p.m. at the KSU Union, along with several speakers including Buck Rowlands of KDHE and Dusty Garner. Then, salsa night at PJ’s with free HIV testing.
Tuesday, December 9
“A Boy, a Girl and a Virus” will be presented at the KSU Union starting at 7 p.m.
Kansas residents who are at risk for HIV can get tested at one of more than 80 sites in the state. Contact your local health department or the Kansas Department of Health and Environment HIV/STD Section at 785-296-6174 for the location nearest you. HIV testing information is available on the KDHE Web site at www.kdheks.gov/hiv/index.html. Information on public testing sites, the new state epidemiologic profile for HIV/STD, and a downloadable statewide guide of HIV/STD services can be accessed through the KDHE website at www.kdheks.gov/hiv/download/quick_guide.pdf. Additional information from the CDC can be accessed at www.cdc.gov/hiv/.