World AIDS Day, December 1, will be commemorated in Bend with a gathering at the new Central Oregon Social Justice Center. Every year, World AIDS Day is held on December 1 and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV and AIDS. It’s also an occasion to show support for people living with HIV, and to remember those who have died from the condition.
The event is sponsored by Deschutes County Health Services, Local 3997 AFSCME Council 75, the Central Oregon Social Justice Center, Human Dignity Coalition, and PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays-Central Oregon Chapter).
The evening will include short HIV films, educational materials, light refreshments and several speakers. Afterward, a brief candlelight vigil will be held to support families, friends, coworkers and loved ones living with HIV, and to honor and remember those who have lost their battle with AIDS.
Established by the World Health Organization in 1988, World AIDS Day serves to focus global attention on the devastating impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the ongoing need for prevention and testing. Deschutes County Public Health reminds residents that HIV does exist locally and there are things we all can do to help prevent the spread of HIV. If living with the virus, residents are encouraged to get tested, know their disease status, and take active steps to control their health.
Globally, over 34 million people are estimated to have HIV. More than 25 million people died from the disease between 1981 and 2007. Due to many scientific advances in HIV treatment, laws protecting people from discrimination due to HIV, and advances in prevention strategies, HIV for many has been transformed from a terminal condition to a chronic, manageable one. Yet many people still do not know the facts about HIV and AIDS, have never been tested for HIV despite having risks for infection, and do not know how to protect themselves from contracting it.
The local World AIDS Day event will be held at 5pm on Sunday, December 1, at the Central Oregon Social Justice Center, 155 NW Irving Street in Bend.
Deschutes County Health Educator Susan McCreedy 541- 322-7402.
and search “HIV Testing”.