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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.
The Florida Department of Health Recognizes World AIDS Day
December 01, 2020
Tallahassee, Fla. — Each year on December 1, people around the globe observe World AIDS Day. The day provides an opportunity to show solidarity for those affected by HIV and memorialize those who have lost their lives to the disease. This year’s national World AIDS Day theme is “Ending the HIV Epidemic: Resilience and Impact.” Governor DeSantis issued a proclamation in recognition of World AIDS Day, and communities across the state are coming together in support of persons with HIV and to remember those we’ve lost.
“World AIDS Day provides a unique opportunity to remember the people we’ve lost over the past four decades and bring attention to our collective response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “We need to continue our efforts in research, education and treatment to finally end this devastating disease”
“In public health, we’re often looking forward. We talk about preventing new HIV transmission, we talk about long-term care for people living with HIV, we talk about ending the HIV epidemic,” said Dr. Scott Rivkees, Florida Surgeon General. “And that is all vitally important. But it’s also so important that we set time aside for looking backward, for remembering. On World AIDS Day, we honor those who have lost their lives to HIV. In their memory, and for those living with HIV, we push on.”
In 2019, there were approximately 134,900 people living with HIV in Florida, 116,689 of whom were diagnosed. HIV was the ninth leading cause of death, having claimed 644 lives. Our state experiences a high burden of the HIV epidemic, and the Department is committed to connecting people to the resources they need to be able to live long, healthy lives, regardless of HIV status.
In February 2019, President Trump announced his administration's goal to end the HIV epidemic in the United States by 2030.The resulting initiative, called "Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America,” is already well under way. The goal of the initiative is to reduce new HIV infections by 75 percent in the next five years and by 90 percent by 2030.
Ending HIV in Florida requires the collective effort of all Floridians and knowing your HIV status is the first step. Your HIV status determines the prevention or care options that are right for you. Florida is a national leader in HIV testing, and there are many ways to get tested. Visit KnowYourHIVStatus.com to order a free at-home test kit or to learn about testing providers in your area. Be sure to call providers in advance to learn about their COVID-19 safety procedures.
It is crucial that people diagnosed with HIV begin treatment as soon as possible. Immediate treatment with antiretroviral therapy (ART) typically leads to long, healthy lives for people with HIV. It’s also a method of HIV prevention. ART reduces the amount of HIV in the body, which makes it harder to transmit to others.
There are more tools available than ever to prevent HIV. A health care provider can help you determine appropriate next steps, which might include taking PrEP and using condoms to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV. Prevention may also take the form of regular testing.
We can both prevent and treat HIV. For more information, call 1-800-FLA-AIDS, or 800-352-2437; en Espanol, 1-800-545-SIDA; in Creole, 1-800-AIDS-101. To learn where to get tested, visit KnowYourHIVStatus.com.
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.