FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 25, 2013

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


World AIDS Day Dec. 1

Events Scheduled in Lawrence, Topeka and Wichita

TOPEKA, Kan. - World AIDS Day is Dec. 1, and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) encourages Kansans to participate in any one of the events scheduled for this week and next week in the Lawrence area, Topeka and Wichita. Event details are listed below.

The theme of this year’s observance is “Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-Free Generation.” This annual observance provides an opportunity for governments, faith groups, community organizations, businesses and communities to raise awareness and focus attention on the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. In the U.S., nearly 1.1 million people are living with HIV infection, and one in five of those are unaware of their HIV status. Worldwide, the estimated number of people living with HIV is more than 35 million. World AIDS Day is an opportunity to reflect on the impact HIV/AIDS has had on our world. This year, take action through education, prevention and testing to help stop the spread of HIV.

“The first step in preventing HIV from becoming AIDS is to be tested and be tested early,” said Brenda Walker, KDHE Director of the Bureau of Disease Control and Prevention. “Too many of the newly diagnosed HIV cases in Kansas were also AIDS diagnoses. Those who first learn of their HIV status when they already have AIDS have less likelihood of keeping their immune systems healthy long term. Testing is crucial for people who are engaging in behaviors that can transmit HIV. Knowing your HIV status is critical.”

So, why not get tested for HIV today? You can find free testing at many local health departments and community-based organizations by visiting www.hivtest.org. Here are some of the events planned in Kansas:

Lawrence Area

Topeka

Wichita

For more information on the Kansas HIV/AIDS program go to http://www.kdheks.gov/hiv/index.html or contact Jennifer VandeVelde, STI/HIV Section Chief, at 785-296-6544.