Barren River Health to observe World AIDS Day
By Chrissie Rowland

Posted on November 24, 2014 12:51 PM

World AIDS Day will be commemorated around the globe on Monday, Dec. 1, celebrating successes in battling the epidemic and bringing into focus remaining challenges. The 2014 theme is “Getting to Zero:” Zero New Infections, Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS Related Deaths.

This year marks the 26th anniversary of World AIDS Day.  It was first observed in 1988 by health educators around the world who called for a spirit of social tolerance and a greater awareness of HIV/AIDS.  World AIDS Day is a time to raise awareness of HIV, remember those who lost their lives to the pandemic and to focus on outreach and education to prevent further spread of the disease. Despite advances in the understanding of HIV and AIDS, World AIDS Day serves as a reminder that this disease still impacts millions of people worldwide.

 More than 1 million adults and adolescents are living with HIV in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that every 9.5 minutes someone in the U.S. is infected with HIV, totaling about 56,300 new infections annually.

According to data collected by the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH), at the end of 2013, there were 5,949 Kentuckians reported living with HIV disease. This excludes an estimated 2,090 Kentuckians that are unaware of their infection. All Kentucky counties have been impacted by HIV disease but those with the largest number of persons living with the infection are Jefferson (2,631, 44  percent); Fayette (843, 14  percent); and Kenton (263, 5  percent) counties. In 2012, there were 371 new HIV infections diagnosed among Kentuckians, a 19  percent increase from 2011.

World AIDS Day is a time to recognize the continuing work being done by public health staff, community partners and advocates to prevent the spread of HIV in Kentucky and to honor those living and struggling against the resulting daily challenges of being HIV-positive.

In the 33 years since the first cases of AIDS were diagnosed, there have been advances in treatment that have allowed for widespread access to life saving medication. Early detection and treatment can prevent long-term complications and reduce transmission rates. KDPH encourages Kentuckians to get educated about HIV/AIDS and get tested, talk to someone who is infected, share knowledge with family and friends, and wear a red ribbon to increase awareness. HIV/AIDS is preventable – let’s work together to end this disease.

As part of the global call for action, we are hosting the following event:

*Dec. 2 – Barren River District Health Department/WKU  – Education/Testing Event – Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.




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