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Archive Index / The Florida Department of Health Recognizes World AIDS Day (posted: 11/30/11)
Source: Florida Department of Health
Contact: DOH Office of Communications
World AIDS Day recognizes those living with and those who died of the disease
TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Department of Health (DOH) will join community, state and federal partners in recognizing December 1, 2011 as World AIDS Day. Since 1988, World AIDS Day has marked the global calendar, encouraging the community to come together in honor, remembrance and advocacy of those who live with and have died from HIV/AIDS. "World AIDS Day is a time to reflect on the headway that has been made in fighting HIV, but also to pay tribute to the more than 16,000 lives that are lost from AIDS each year in the United States," said Deputy Secretary for Health Dr. Steven Harris. "We must acknowledge the work still ahead of us by renewing our commitment to reducing new infections and combating this epidemic in our state, nation and world."
Nearly 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the U.S. and one in five of those are unaware of their infections. Florida continues to be heavily impacted by HIV/AIDS, with the third greatest number of cumulative AIDS cases, 121,161, and the second greatest number of cumulative pediatric AIDS cases, 1,542 reported through 2010. An additional 46,795 cases were reported with HIV (not AIDS), of which 612 were under the age of 13 In Florida alone, there were 95,335 people currently living with HIV/AIDS in the state through 2010; 30 percent among whites, 49 percent among blacks, 19 percent among Hispanics and 2 percent among people of other races. Beyond the 95,335 known people living with HIV/AIDS in Florida, it is estimated that there may actually be up 135,000 people with the disease in Florida, yet 20 percent of them do not know they are infected.
World AIDS Day provides an opportunity to address HIV/AIDS disparities and HIV related stigma and to spark dialogue about stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS among all populations. Individuals and communities can observe World AIDS Day by becoming educated about HIV/AIDS; getting tested for HIV and knowing personal status; encouraging partners, family, friends, co-workers, and church members to know their HIV status; breaking the silence and starting the dialogue about HIV/AIDS in places of home, work, play and worship; and engaging in healthy behaviors that prevent the spread of HIV.
DOH continues to work diligently to reduce the number of HIV infections, increase the proportion of HIV-infected people in Florida who know they are infected, and to recognize those who have lost their lives to the disease. In honor of World AIDS Day, DOH created the We Make The Change Virtual Memorial, a digital AIDS memorial that serves as a remembrance for those who died of the disease. To add a name to the virtual memorial quilt, visit http://www.wemakethechange.com/worldaidsday/.
For more information on HIV/AIDS, visit http://www.doh.state.fl.us/Disease_ctrl/aids/index.html
For a list of events happening around the state for World AIDS Day, visit www.wemakethechange.com
Page last updated: 12/5/11