Thursday, December 1rst, marks the 23rd annual World AIDS Day. This year will be the 30th anniversary of the first documented case of AIDS. World AIDS Day recognizes the 25 million people whom lost their lives due to the HIV and AIDS virus. Currently, there are about 33 million individuals living with the HIV virus. A recent landmark study showed that healthy people on antiretrovirals, can limit the transmission of the virus by 96%.
President Obama along with George W. Bush will be speaking at an event hosted by the ONE campaign, for a program called “The Beginning of the End of AIDS.” The LIVE broadcast (10am EST-Thursday) will also include a panel discussion with Bill Clinton, Alicia Keys, Bono and more. On a more local scale, The Equality Foundation and Pride Foundation are partnering up to support the Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon (PPSO) initiative- this will provide free HIV testing for low income LGBTQ youth. These tests will be administered by PPSO staff at the following health centers: Florence and Cottage Grove (Lane Co.), Ashland and Medford (Jackson Co.), and Grants Pass in Josephine county.
“It is our practice not to refuse services to anyone, so we provide much needed services for uninsured clients who cannot self-pay at a private facility, or do not qualify for low-income programs. We have the capacity to serve more clients as funding allows. With this grant we can offer much needed free HIV tests to 100 young people aged 15-24, regardless of their ability to pay”, Stated PPSO’s Andi Swart.
So, at attention fellow Portlanders and Oregonians! It’s time to help spread awareness! There are many things you can do to help this evolve. First step is simple: GET TESTED!!! You can also donate or volunteer your time to CAP (Cascade AIDS Project), a local non-profit organization that provides 3,000 tests a year in downtown Portland. Share your story about how HIV and/or AIDS have influenced your life by submitting a 30 second video on the World Aids Day NW website. You can create and register an event thru their website as well.
Ann Pickar (chair of the Portland Area Global AIDS Coalition) said it best, “It’s a time to look back, to see how far we have come in addressing the devastation caused by AIDS, and to realize how much still needs to be done.” For upcoming World Aids Day events check out the calendar.
World AIDS Day Information Line: (971) 533-9136
National AIDS Hotline (24hrs.) :1-888-232-6348 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org