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. An estimated 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV, and yet one out of five don’t know it.
“World AIDS Day is an opportunity to take action,” said John W. Mitchell, KDHE Acting Secretary. “Education, testing, and treatment can help prevent the HIV epidemic. KDHE recommends testing to help stop the spread of HIV.”
In an effort to increase the accessibility and visibility of HIV testing in the State of Kansas, KDHE’s HIV/AIDS Section launched a Social Marketing Campaign to encourage citizens in the State to get tested for HIV. The campaign began November 15 as a prelude to World AIDS Day.
“We encourage anyone who has had a risk for exposure to HIV to get educated, get tested and if needed, get treatment this World AIDS Day,” said Brenda Walker, Director of KDHE’s Bureau of Disease Control and Prevention. “HIV testing is available in many places throughout Kansas such as county health departments, community-based organizations and private providers. This knowledge may save your life or the life of someone you love.”
To find a testing site near you please visit www.hivtest.org. Initiatives and events planned in recognition of World AIDS Day in Kansas include:
- Hunter Health Clinic will provide rapid HIV testing on Wednesday, December 1from 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. at 2318 E. Central, Wichita. All people tested on December 1will receive a small gift. For more information contact Vonnie Kelly, Hunter Health Clinic at 316-262-3611 Ext#1173.
- The KU School of Medicine/KU Midtown in collaboration with Sedgwick County Health Department, First Metropolitan Community Church, Positive Directions, Hunter Health, That Gay Group (TGG) and Kansas AIDS Education & TRAINING Center will hold a Candlelight Vigil and Reading of Names with keynote speaker, Dr. Donna Sweet on Wednesday December 1 starting at 6 p.m. This event will be held at the First Metropolitan Community Church, 156 S. Kansas. Community displays and refreshments will follow the services. For more information contact Teresa L. Romey at 316-293-3407.
- Positive Directions will make HIV testing available on Wednesday, December 1 from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Positive Directions is located at 414 S. Commerce in Wichita. For more details contact Shawn Walters, Prevention and Testing coordinator at 316-263-2214.
- The Sedgwick County Health Department will offer HIV rapid testing Wednesday, December 1 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., in collaboration with Wichita State University at the Rhatigan Student Center, 1845 Fairmount, Wichita State University campus. For more information, please contact Jason Ybarra, Sr. Disease Intervention Specialist, Sedgwick County Health Department, 316-660-7369.
- The Harvey County Health Department will offer rapid HIV Testing in recognition of World AIDS Day Wednesday, December 1. Those tested will receive a “Take Charge-Get Tested” bracelet. The Harvey County Health Department is located at 316 Oak St. in Newton and will be open from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. For questions, please call 316-283-1637.
- The Fort Hays State University Student Health Clinic will offer HIV testing to Fort Hays students as a part of all office visits during the month of December. For more information, contact Lottie Porsi at 785-628-5824.
- The Topeka AIDS Project will collaborate with the First Congregational Church Wednesday, December 1, 6–7 p.m. for an interfaith service and candlelight Memorial. First Congregational Church is located at 1701 SW Collins Ave in Topeka. HIV testing will also be available before and after the service. For more information on this event, please contact Amy Wethington, Prevention Educator, Topeka AIDS Project 785- 232-3100.
- The Douglas County AIDS Project will collaborate with the University Events Committee at Kansas University to host a speaker’s panel and candlelight vigil Wednesday, December 1 from 6-8 p.m. World AIDS Day events will be held at the Hawk's Nest in the Student Union on the KU campus. For more information on this event, please contact Olivia Burchett, Douglas County AIDS Project, at 785-843-0040.
- The Johnson County Health Department will provide HIV testing Wednesday, December 1from 11a.m.-6 p.m. at the Johnson County Health Department, 11875 S Sunset Dr., Suite 300 in Olathe. For more information, please call Tabitha Wagoner at 913-477-8392.
- The United Methodist Mexican American Ministries will offer testing on Wednesday, December 1at the following locations:
- 1700 Ave. F, Dodge City, for questions call 620-225-6821
- 225 N. Taylor, Garden City, for questions call 620- 272-1766
- 311 N. Grant Liberal, KS for questions call 620-624-0463