Health District Community Partners Observe 19Th World AIDS Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

21 November, 2007

LAS VEGAS – The 19th World AIDS Day is Saturday, Dec. 1 and the Southern Nevada Health District and its community partners will observe the occasion with several events throughout the week, including a candlelight vigil, a display of a portion of the AIDS Memorial Quilt and HIV testing. For more information, contact the Southern Nevada Health District Office of HIV/AIDS, (702) 759-0702 or the Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada, (702) 733-9800.

As of Oct. 31, more than 8,100 Southern Nevadans have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS with more than 2,400 deaths from the illness. Currently, more than 5,700 residents are living with HIV/AIDS. A recent study by the UNAIDS noted there are more than 32 million people living with HIV worldwide.

World AIDS Day was adopted in 1988 by representatives of 140 countries at the World Summit of Ministers of Health on AIDS. The day serves as an opportunity for governments, non-governmental and local organizations, AIDS programs and individuals to increase awareness and demonstrate solidarity in the fight against AIDS.

“There is still no cure or vaccine for AIDS and the illness continues to be an international public health problem with millions of people dying from it annually. Education and prevention through responsible behavior continue to be the best defense against infection,” said Dr. Lawrence Sands, Southern Nevada Health District chief health officer. “We encourage people to get tested, to know their status, to get treatment and to take precautions.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that voluntary HIV testing become routine for patients aged 13 to 64 to increase early diagnosis for the more than 250,000 Americans who are unaware that they are HIV positive.

“World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS, while creating awareness for a healthier community,” said Candice Nichols, executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada.

The health district regularly offers confidential testing services at its main public health center; a separate entrance on the building’s south side ensures clients’ privacy. In addition to testing, the Southern Nevada Health District’s HIV/AIDS program includes counseling, case management, outreach efforts and community referrals. For information, visit the health district’s website, www.SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict.org or call (702) 759-0702.

In addition to the traditional blood test, the health district offers the OraSure HIV-1 oral fluid test that does not use needles as well as the OraQuick Advanced Rapid HIV Antibody Test. Same day results are available with the OraQuick test, which is administered Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., and Thursday morning from 8 a.m. until noon. There is a $25 fee for the same-day test.

World AIDS Day, December 2007
Schedule of Events

Monday, Nov. 26 – Monday, Dec, 3

  • Memorial AIDS Quilt Display
    10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
    Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada
    953 E. Sahara Ave., B-31, Las Vegas
    Contact: 733-9800 for information

Thursday, Nov. 29

  • HIV Testing
    1 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
    Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada
    953 E. Sahara Ave., B-31, Las Vegas
    Contact: 733-9800 for information
  • Anyone & Everyone, Film Screening
    6:30 p.m.
    Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada
    953 E. Sahara Ave., B-31, Las Vegas
    Contact: 733-9800 for information

Saturday, Dec. 1

  • World AIDS Day HIV Testing and Educational Program
    9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    Canyon Ridge Christian Church, 6200 Lone Mountain Rd., Las Vegas
    Contact: 658-2722 for more information
  • Candlelight Vigil/AIDS Interfaith Ministries
    7 p.m.
    Congregation Ner Tamid
    55 N. Valley Verde, Henderson (near the 215 Freeway)
    Contact: 733-6292, 369-8700, ext. 240 or 245-5252 for information

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