Local event to raise awareness for prevention and treatment, fight prejudice

Nov 29, 2012

For more information, please contact SRHD Public Information Officer, Kim Papich (509) 324-1539

SPOKANE, Wash. – Nov. 29, 2012 – Dec. 1, 2012 once again marks the arrival of World AIDS Day, a global event held each year to honor the lives lost to HIV/AIDS, and to offer our hope and support to those living with HIV. Spokane Regional Health District and Spokane AIDS Network are co-chairing the event this year, and together, they invite the community to join them in commemorating World AIDS Day.
 
Spokane’s event will take place on Saturday, Dec. 1, at Stella’s Café, located at 917 W. Broadway, near Spokane Regional Health District, from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., and will feature music, art, community, and Stella’s delicious hors d'oeuvres. The evening will culminate in a silent vigil by candlelight to pay homage to those who have passed away.
 
During 2011, there were 26 newly-diagnosed HIV infections in Spokane County. Both Spokane and Washington state continue to see the total number of people living with HIV disease increase. It is now estimated that 18,000 people have been diagnosed with HIV in Washington state since the first case in 1982 and over 5,000 have since passed. It is also estimated that nearly a quarter of people infected with the HIV virus are unaware of their HIV status, meaning that having access to HIV testing is essential.
 
Testing is available through these programs to people who are at risk for HIV:

  • Spokane AIDS Network: (509) 455-8993
  • Spokane Regional Health District HIV Testing Program: (509) 324-1542

Spokane AIDS Network and Spokane Regional Health District's HIV/AIDS program work to stop the transmission of HIV and to provide education and support to people living with HIV/AIDS. 

Current HIV screening guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend:

  • Everyone ages 13-64 get tested at least once for HIV
  • People at high risk for HIV get tested more often. Those at the highest risk (including injection-drug users and their sex partners, persons who exchange sex for money or drugs, sex partners of HIV-infected persons and men who have sex with men) get tested at least annually.
  • Women get tested during each pregnancy.

All community members are encouraged to attend World AIDS Day 2012 with the hopes that the evening’s program will lend visibility to prevention, treatment progress and help fight prejudice.
 
More information can also be found at www.srhd.org. Spokane Regional Health District’s Web site also offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Become a fan of SRHD on Facebook to receive local safety and wellness tips. You can also follow us on Twitter @spokanehealth.