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December 1st is World AIDS Day

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

November 27, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 27, 2013

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH RECOGNIZES WORLD AIDS DAY

The Florida Department of Health joins many community partners across the state in recognizing World AIDS Day on Sunday, December 1, 2013. The annual observance provides the opportunity to reflect on progress made in eliminating the disease and caring for those living with HIV/AIDS.

“On World AIDS Day, the Department of Health remains committed to the important work being done to increase life span and improve quality of life for those living with HIV/AIDS,” said Dr. Celeste Philip, Deputy Secretary for Health and Deputy State Health Officer for Children’s Medical Services (CMS).

The Department of Health's HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis Section has developed one of the nation's most comprehensive programs for HIV/AIDS surveillance, education, prevention, counseling, testing, care and treatment. Persons can be tested confidentially for HIV throughout the state at county health departments and at local community-based organizations.

In January 2013, the Department eliminated the waiting list for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP)—a waitlist that had reached a high of 4,100 applicants in 2011. ADAP is a state-administered program that provides HIV/AIDS-related medications to low-income HIVpositive individuals living in Florida.

In Florida during 2012, the number of HIV-related deaths decreased by 8% from the previous year and by 79% since the peak in 1995. Since 2007, HIV-related deaths in Florida have continued declining each year.

The Department launched The Faces of HIV campaign in January 2012. The project tells the stories of Florida residents living with HIV and AIDS through captivating portraits, insightful interviews. The mobile art exhibit has been displayed in Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, Panama City, Daytona Beach, Sarasota, Gainesville and Pensacola. The exhibit has had over 6,000 visitors and will make stops in Gainesville on December 5th, Ocala on December 6th and Lake City on December 7th.

“The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County remains at the forefront of the fight against HIV/AIDS,” said Lillian Rivera, RN, MSN, PhD, Administrator and Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County. “World AIDS Day reminds us of our shared responsibility with our local partners to increase awareness and improve education.”

In observance of World AIDS Day, the Department will display a 20 foot red ribbon in front of the Historic Capitol Museum in Tallahassee from November 25–December 2.

For more information please visit www.FloridaAIDS.org. For more information regarding World AIDS Day and events in your local area please visit www.wemakethechange.com. You may also call the Florida AIDS Hotline at 1-800-FLA-AIDS. Information is also available in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole or through a text telephone (TTY) line at (888) 530-7118.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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