World AIDS Day on December 1st
World AIDS Day will be commemorated with parades, prayers and candlelight vigils in cites and countries around the world. This year marks the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day. The 2008 World AIDS Day theme, "Stop AIDS - Keep the Promise - Take the Lead" aims to hold individuals, businesses, government and policy makers accountable to the commitments they make to respond to this epidemic; the work at hand is to continue prevention efforts, reduce stigma, build health infrastructure and ensure treatment and respect for people living with HIV and AIDS.
Spokane's World AIDS Day ceremony will be held at The Community Building, 35 West Main, on Monday, December 1, 5:30-7:30. Mayor Verner will deliver the opening words and Proclamation of World AIDS Day. Appetizers will be served, and local art and music will be featured. The event will culminate in its traditional outdoor candlelight vigil.
HIV/AIDS is one of the worst pandemics in recorded history, one that has already taken over 25 million lives. Last year, it killed an estimated 2.1 million people, including 330,000 children. An estimated 33 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. Worldwide there were 2.5 million new HIV infections during 2007, and in the United States alone, there are 1.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS; one in four are unaware of their infection.
During 2007, there were 36 newly-diagnosed HIV infections in Spokane. It is estimated that Spokane has over 750 people living with the HIV virus. Despite two decades of HIV/AIDS education, the annual number of new infections remains steady, and the number of HIV-infected people living in Spokane continues to rise.
The Spokane Regional Health District's HIV/AIDS Program works to stop the spread of HIV and to provide education and support to those who are HIV positive and those living with AIDS.
For information on this event please contact: Maryellen Cooley (509) 324-1544