December 1 is World AIDS Day
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) will join with partners throughout Kansas in commemorating World AIDS Day on December 1. The World Health Organization established World AIDS Day in 1988. World AIDS Day provides governments, national AIDS programs, faith organizations, community organizations, and individuals with an opportunity to raise awareness and focus attention on the global AIDS epidemic. More than 1 million Americans are estimated to be living with HIV. Worldwide, an estimated 33 million people are living with HIV.
“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 KDHE. “HIV testing is available in many places such as 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 are 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.
Initiatives planned in recognition of World AIDS Day in Kansas include:
- Regional AIDS Project, Manhattan, will provide a two-day education and testing event at the K-State Union, December 1 (rooms 208 and 212, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.). Testing events will be held in conjunction with the Sigma Beta Phi Fraternity. Regional AIDS project will also be hosting a candlelight march and memorial December 1 beginning at 5 p.m. starting at Lafene Health Center. For more information on these events please contact Cora Holt Executive Director, Regional AIDS Project, 785 -587-1999.
- Douglas County AIDS Project, Lawrence, will offer free HIV testing December 1 at the Kansas University Union 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. and at Baker University December 1 and 2 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. A World AIDS day kick off will begin at the Art Center with Scenes from Rent being performed, speaker panel, community talk-back and education provided. For more information on this event please contact Stacey N. Burton, Education, Outreach and Free Testing Clinic Coordinator, DOUGLAS COUNTY AIDS PROJECT, 2518 Ridge Court - Suite #101 Lawrence, KS 66046; Phone 785-843-0040.
- Leavenworth County Health Department, Leavenworth, will offer free HIV testing at the Leavenworth County Health Department 500 Eisenhower Rd. Suite 101, during our normal STD clinic. Please contact Elizabeth Weinmann, LMSW Social Worker & HIV/AIDS Coordinator, 913-250-2008, for more details on this event.
- Fort Hays State University, Hays, will have the AIDS quilt for remembrance of those who died, those who live with AIDS and those who assist in the daily fight globally against AIDS for World AIDS Day. Free HIV tests will also be offered December 1 and 2 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Student Health center located at 600 Park Street Hays, KS 67601. Please contact Dona J. Koenigsman, RN, BSN, Student Health Center Director at 785-628-4293 for more information.
- Salina/Saline County Health Department, Salina, will offer free HIV Testing at Salina/Saline County Health Department, Salina, Kansas 125 West Elm on December 2 until 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. No appointment necessary. Please contact the Salina/Saline County Health Department at 785-826-6602 for more information.
- Reno County Health Department, Hutchinson, will host a poetry slam at a local coffee shop on World AIDS Day, December 1 from 7–10 p.m. inviting local people to write, read, and perform about their thoughts and remembering those they’ve lost in regards to HIV/AIDS. There will also be free HIV testing from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Reno County Health Department 209 W. 2nd Hutchinson, KS 67501. For further information on this event, please contact Katie Smith, Health Educator, Reno County Health Department, 620-694-2900 ext 251 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Topeka AIDS Project, Topeka, will offer free rapid HIV testing December 1, 2009 at Washburn University from 1-4 p.m. In addition, there will be an Interfaith Candlelight Memorial at Metropolitan Community Church of Topeka. Everyone in the community is invited to attend. The event starts at 7 p.m. December 1. Child care will be provided as well as refreshments after the event. Contact Amy Wethington, Prevention Educator, Topeka AIDS Project at 785-232-3100 or email@example.com.
- Good Samaritan Project, Kansas City, Kansas will offer rapid testing December 1 at Wilhelmina Gill Center, 645 Nebraska Ave., Kansas City, KS from 9-11 a.m. as well as holding a presentation for the Environmental Protection Agency at 901 N. 5th Kansas City, KS from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. For more information on these events, please contact Elnora Powell, Community Prevention Specialist, at 816-561-8784.
- Healthy Living Project, Olathe, will offer HIV rapid testing December 1, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., and from 5–7 p.m. at 8650 West 95th Street, Suite 3, Overland Park. For more information on this event, please contact Christian J. Watson at 913-708-1414 or visit www.healthylivingprojects.org
- Johnson County Health Department, Olathe, will provide testing and counseling at 11875 South Sunset Drive Olathe, in the Debbie Sullivan Conference Room, December 1 from 12-6 p.m. Brochures and information on HIV/AIDS will also be available. For more information on this event please contact Tabitha Wagoner, Human Sexuality Programs Coordinator/ Health Educator, 913-477-8392.
- Sedgwick County Health Department, Wichita, will collaborate with Wichita State University to provide Clearview rapid testing from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Rhatigan Student center on the Wichita State University campus. For more information on this event, please contact Mindy Kufahl, HIV/STD Public Health Educator, Sedgwick County Health Department, 316-660-7253.
- KU School of Medicine & Hunter Health Clinic, Wichita, will host a candle light vigil at 6:30 p.m. beginning at the Mid-American All Indian Center, 650 N. Seneca, with a walk to the Keeper of the Plains. Programs remembering those lost to AIDS and those still living with HIV/AIDS will follow at 7:15 p.m. In case of inclement weather. all activities will be held inside. For more information on this event, please contact Teresa Romey at 316-293-2652.
- Hunter Health Clinic, Wichita, will offer free HIV testing at 2318 E. Central, Wichita, on December 1from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Everyone tested will receive an extra large sized reusable grocery bag as a special gift for testing for HIV! For more information please contact Tabatha Miller at 316-262-3611.
- E.C. Tyree Clinic, Wichita, will offer A RED CARPET EVENT for the WORLD AIDS DAY OBSERVANCE. The evening will showcase a free public viewing of the movie, “COVER.” All women are asked to wear their fanciest “red” dress. There will also be a $5 Dessert Bar consisting of various decadent and delectable desserts and other surprises for attendees. The WORLD AIDS DAY Observance will be held at the Saint Mark United Methodist Church Family Life Center, 1525 North Lorraine-Lower Level, Wichita, Kansas, December 1, beginning with FREE HIV Testing at 5 p.m. and the movie begins at 6:15 p.m. For more information about the World Aids Day Observance contact E.C. Tyree Clinic Executive Director, Schaunta James-Boyd at 316-681-2545 or contact Attorney Barbara L. James at firstname.lastname@example.org or 316-652-0076.
- United Methodist Kansas Mexican American Ministries, Garden City will offer a Candle Light Vigil Ceremony, December 1 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Finney County Court House, 425 N. 8th street, Garden City. The ceremony is to be followed by a light dinner and refreshments at Iglesia Cristiana Principe de Paz, 416 Buffalo Jones Ave. The event is sponsored by United Methodist Mexican American Ministries, Iglesia Cristiana Principe de Paz & Finney County Health Department. For more information on this event please contact Arturo Ponce 620-272-3198 or Gerardo and Fanny Nunez 620-276-3892.