Michigan Recognizes December 1 As World AIDS Day

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

November 30, 2006

DETROIT-The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is joining in the effort to raise HIV/AIDS awareness by recognizing December 1 as World AIDS Day in Michigan. The theme for this year is "Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise: Focusing on Accountability."

"On this 25th anniversary of the first diagnosis of HIV, it is imperative, now more than ever, to remain committed to exemplary prevention strategies and to provide comprehensive and compassionate care to those living with HIV and AIDS," said Janet Olszewski, MDCH Director.

Nationally, it is estimated more than one million people are living with HIV, with one-third unaware of their infection. Approximately 40,000 new HIV infections occur each year in the United States, with roughly 70 percent of those men and 30 percent women, respectively.

As of October 1, 2006, a total of 12,972 persons were known to be living with HIV/AIDS in Michigan, with roughly 52 percent having AIDS. Further breakdown reveals that 57 percent of those infected are African-American, 37 percent are White, 4 percent are Hispanic, and 2 percent are other or unknown race. Almost 77 percent of those infected are males. In the Detroit Metro Area alone, 8,286 residents are currently living with HIV/AIDS.

To further raise awareness, a commemorative ceremony will take place tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. Dr. Michael Morgan, Deputy Director of Wayne County Department of Public Health, and Loretta Davis-Satterla, Director of the Division of Health, Wellness and Disease Control (DHWDC) within MDCH will discuss the impact of AIDS over the last 25 years. Presentations by people living with HIV/AIDS and entertainment will also be featured. Other various activities are planned throughout the state and include a presentation by Barbara Murray, Executive Director of AIDS Partnership Michigan, who will be distributing funds raised by statewide AIDS walks to AIDS service organizations, free and confidential HIV testing, STD screenings, and high blood pressure, glucose and TB screenings. Local health departments and community-based organizations may also have other commemoration activities planned.

The DHWDC division of MDCH continues to provide ongoing HIV prevention education, care services, and training to help support Michigan's HIV/AIDS service providers.

For a complete listing of events or for more information on HIV/AIDS, please visit www.michigan.gov/mdch, and click on the Physical Health & Prevention tab, then Prevention, and then HIV/STD or call the Michigan AIDS Hotline at (800) 872-2427. For more information on World AIDS Day, please visit www.worldaidsday.org.