For Immediate Release
November 24, 2010

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

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:

Wichita

Newton

Hays

Topeka

Lawrence

Kansas City

Western Kansas