SANTA ANA — December 1st is World AIDS Day, an international day of reflection to remember those who have died and those who are living with HIV or AIDS (HIV disease). World AIDS Day 2011 is about “Getting to Zero”: Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS Related Deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 33.4 million people are living today with HIV disease, including over 1.2 million people in the United States. One in five (21%) of those people living with HIV is unaware of their infection (CDC, 2010).
Orange County was among the first jurisdictions in the world to report the disease in 1981. The most recent data from December 2010 show that 10,846 people in Orange County have been diagnosed with HIV disease, of which an estimated 6,591 persons are still living. Using the CDC estimate, an additional 1,752 persons in Orange County are living with HIV but are unaware of their HIV status.
A coalition of HIV prevention, treatment, and support agencies in Orange County have planned World AIDS Day events beginning November 29, 2011 and continuing through December 3, 2011. The purpose of these events is to increase awareness about HIV and AIDS, and to honor the lives of persons who have died from the disease.
- November 29th and 30th at Cal State Fullerton, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; educational information and free HIV testing
- December 1, 2011 at Golden West College, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; educational information and free HIV testing
- December 1, 2011 at Cobblestone Park, located on Pacific Coast Highway and Broadway in Laguna Beach, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.; free HIV testing from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and a candlelight vigil from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- December 3, 2011 at Santa Ana Artist Village at 6:00 p.m.; free HIV testing and a Remembrance and Honor candlelight vigil
Nearly 1 in 5 people with HIV don’t know they are infected and are at higher risk of serious medical problems and early death. There is hope for stopping HIV. The December 2011 Vital Signs report highlights how HIV testing, linking people with care and treatment, appropriate use of medications to reduce the amounts of virus in the body, viral suppression and prevention counseling can all provide better prevention outcomes. For additional information, please see http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/HIVtesting/.
Please visit www.aids.gov/world-aids-day/ for more information on World AIDS Day 2011.