Commemorating World AIDS Day in Spokane

Nov 30, 2018

For more information, contact Kim Papich (509) 324-1539 or kpapich@srhd.org

SPOKANE, Wash. – Dec. 1 will once again mark the arrival of World AIDS Day, a global event held each year that unites people globally in the fight against HIV. Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) and SAN – Spokane AIDS Network invite the community to join them in commemorating World AIDS Day.

A free community event will be held on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, 304 W Pacific Ave, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Washington Cracker Co. building in its Terrain/Overbluff Cellars event space. Complimentary refreshments will be provided. Wine will be available for purchase.

The evening offers a chance to remember those who have died and show support for people living with HIV, as well as celebrate the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day. Since 1988, the AIDS response has made significant progress and today millions of people living with HIV are leading healthy and productive lives. But there are still miles to go and one of the challenges remaining is knowledge of HIV status. Early detection through testing, as well as access to health care and medications, are pivotal in making strides to an AIDS-free generation.

With advances in medications, 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—a central concept behind SRHD’s decision earlier this to year to join the global HIV prevention campaign Undetectable = Untransmittable, also known as U=U.

U=U relies on scientific findings that confirm that people living with HIV, who are on antiretroviral therapy and who have achieved an undetectable viral load in their blood, have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to their partners. Since treatment keeps people living with HIV from transmitting the virus, the concept is known as “treatment as prevention.”

"Understanding that successful HIV treatment helps to prevent sexual transmission can help reduce HIV-related stigma and encourage people living with HIV to initiate and adhere to a successful treatment regimen," said Stacie Lechot, SRHD HIV Case Management manager.

More information about treatment is available through SRHD’s HIV/STD Services program; testing is also available (509) 324-1542. The only way a person can know for sure whether they have HIV is to get tested. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. About one in seven people in the United States who have HIV do not know they have it.

More information can be found at www.srhd.org. SRHD’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

###