Michigan Encourages HIV Testing for World AIDS Day

Contact: Angela Minicuci (517) 241-2112

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 29, 2012

LANSING - Each year, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) Division of Health, Wellness and Disease Control (DHWDC) recognizes World AIDS Day through a series of events and observations to unite and show support for people living with HIV/AIDS, and to encourage prevention and testing. The theme for World AIDS Day held annually on Dec. 1, is Getting to Zero. Zero new infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths. 

"Michigan is committed to working statewide to prevent HIV and AIDS as well as provide comprehensive, compassionate care to those living with it," said James K. Haveman, Director of the MDCH. "World AIDS Day is a national observance to increase awareness about prevention and support, but our staff works year round to ensure that Michigan is providing the best care and strategies possible."

MDCH is working in conjunction with the Institute for Population Health, Alere, Gilead Sciences, Black Leadership Commission on AIDS - Detroit, Embassy Suites Detroit-Southfield, Detroit Health, Wellness & Promotion, MAC Cosmetics, Medcart Pharmacy, Wayne State University/Horizon's Project, Southeastern Michigan HIV/AIDS Council, Rochester College School of Nursing, and Wayne County Community College District-Northwest Campus. Together, these organizations will recognize World AIDS Day on Friday, Nov. 30, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at Wayne County Community College District Northwest Campus in Detroit.

At the event, activities include free and confidential HIV testing, STD and syphilis screenings, as well as diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol screenings. Various HIV/AIDS community organizations will be displaying information on the services they provide, several workshops will address HIV/AIDS and STD prevention, and a panel discussion will focus on the existing stigma related to HIV.

As of Oct. 2012, 19,300 people were estimated to be living with HIV in Michigan. Of the reported 14,996 cases, more than half have a diagnosis of AIDS. Further breakdown reveals that 58 percent of those infected are African-American, 34 percent are Caucasian, 4 percent are Hispanic, 1 percent are Asian/Pacific Islander and 2 percent are of an unknown race. Seventy-eight percent of those infected are males, and 22 percent are females.

The MDCH DHWDC provides Health Disparities Reduction and HIV/STD prevention, education and care services statewide, as well as training, to support our state's HIV/AIDS, STD and Health Disparities Reduction service providers. Michigan residents are encouraged to get tested to better protect themselves and others, and are welcome to call the Michigan AIDS Hotline with questions at 1-800-872-2437. For more information about HIV/AIDS in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/hiv-aids-std. To find a testing site, visit www.aidspartnership.org.

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