DHMH to Commemorate World AIDS Day's 25th Anniversary Dec. 1st

Baltimore, MD (November 26, 2013) - The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) joins the World Health Organization (WHO), the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) World AIDS Campaign, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in supporting the 25th anniversary observance of World AIDS Day this Sunday, December 1st.  

Over the past 25 years, anniversary themes have generated support for programs promoting testing, treatment and care services. The United States Department of Health and Human Services theme for 2013 is Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-Free Generation. The message urges communities to envision a day when there are no new HIV infections and encourages individuals to equip themselves with HIV prevention knowledge and to access testing and care services.

"Through shared responsibility, we can achieve a Maryland with no new HIV infections and attain an AIDS free generation," said Dr. Laura Herrera, DHMH Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services.

Globally, according to UNAIDS, there were an estimated 35.3 million people living with HIV in 2012. Nationally, the CDC estimates that more than 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV infection, including more than 207,000 who are unaware of their infection. In Maryland more than 28,000 people were diagnosed and living with HIV or AIDS as reported through December 31, 2012. Of these, 17,962 were males and 10,235 were females. There were an estimated 6,250 additional Marylanders living with HIV who were unaware of their status.

As a part of this year’s World AIDS Day activities, the DHMH Infectious Disease Bureau (IDB) and the national HIV Stops With Me Campaign (HSWMC) have collaborated to promote public service announcements on the internet search engines of smart phones used in Maryland from November 29th through December 2nd. Stories of Maryland’s HSWMC spokespersons can be found at: http://www.hivstopswithme.org/ .

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Greater Than AIDS (GTA) campaign has also partnered with IDB to support print advertisement and article placement in several local newspapers (Gay Life, Baltimore Times, and the Capital Gazette) to ensure a consistent message about HIV testing, treatment and prevention is shared across the state. To access more information about Kaiser’s GTA campaign go to: http://www.greaterthan.org .

For additional information about HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and support and for a listing of World AIDS Day activities throughout the State go to: http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/SitePages/infectious_disease.aspx. To find an HIV testing location near you visit www.hivtest.org. Maryland-based agencies and programs may request targeted HIV/AIDS educational materials for their local community events by calling 410.799.1940 or by contacting the DHMH Prevention and Health Promotion Administration, Infectious Disease Bureau at 1.800.358.9001.

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