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

For more information, contact Kim Papich, SRHD Public Information Officer (509) 324-1539 or kpapich@srhd.org
 
SPOKANE, Wash. – Nov. 25, 2014 – Dec. 1 will once again mark 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 Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, at the STA Plaza, 701 W. Riverside Ave., in the upstairs gala area. The commemoration will take place from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., and complimentary refreshments will be served. The evening will culminate in a silent vigil by candlelight to pay homage to those who have passed away.
 
Over 18,000 people in Washington state have been diagnosed with HIV since the first case in 1982. Of these, nearly 8,000 people died. But with advances in HIV medications, affected people are living longer and healthier lives. HIV medications, taken daily as prescribed, also decrease the chances a person will transmit the virus to others.  
 
In Spokane, and in the United States overall, over the past decade, the rate of new HIV infections decreased by nearly one-third, offering hope that the AIDS epidemic may be slowing down. Thirty-two years after the beginning of the epidemic, the nation is looking toward an achievable prospect of an AIDS-free generation. Early detection through testing, as well as access to health care and medications, are pivotal in this goal, and are central to World AIDS Day messaging.
 
Community members are invited and encouraged to attend commemoration of the day in Spokane. Along with honoring friends and loved ones who have died, organizers hope the event will lend visibility to prevention, treatment progress and help to fight stigma.
 
Additionally, testing is always available through these programs, for 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 together 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 in their lifetime.
  • People at high risk for HIV get tested more often, including gay and bisexual men, injecting drug users with a history of sharing syringes, or anyone who has an HIV+ sex partner.
  • Testing for those who have been sexually assaulted.
  • Women get tested during each pregnancy.

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.