PCRI Honors World AIDS Day 2009

December 1, 2009 · by pcriadmin · Uncategorized

Today marks World AIDS Day.  Though AIDS doesn’t take any holidays, the World Health Organization established World AIDS Day in 1988 as an opportunity to raise awareness and focus attention on the global AIDS epidemic.

President Barack Obama took the opportunity to bring attention to AIDS with a proclamation including these sobering statistics:

Though we have been witness to incredible progress, our struggle against HIV/AIDS is far from over. With an infection occurring every nine-and-a-half minutes in America, there are more than one million individuals estimated to be living with the disease in our country. Of those currently infected, one in five does not know they have the condition, and the majority of new infections are spread by people who are unaware of their own status. HIV/AIDS does not discriminate as it infiltrates neighborhoods and communities. Americans of any gender, age, ethnicity, income, or sexual orientation can and are contracting the disease.

World AIDS Day 2009

For African Americans, those statistics are even more startling.  According to the  Kaiser Family Foundation, 2% of Blacks in the U.S. were HIV positive , higher than any other group.

African-American teens and women represented a particularly large portion of new HIV infections:  Black teenagers–only 15% of the US teen population–represented 68% of new teen AIDS cases in 2007 and Black women were infected nearly 15 times as often as white women.

While these statistics are startling, they are not a basis for fear.  HIV and AIDS are preventable, information and testing are easily accessible and confidential and treatments are more successful than ever.

Resources and support for people directly and indirectly affected by AIDS are vast.  In fact, PCRI is proud to partner with and provide housing for Cascade AIDS Project.  For additional resources, check out:

And remember the Forest Service’s owl?  You know the one that says, “Only you can prevent Forest Fires.”?  Well, the same goes for HIV and AIDS: only you can prevent them.

  • If you are sexually active, use condoms
  • If you use intravenous drugs, use clean needles
  • Get the facts
  • Speak openly and ask your partner to do the same
  • Act with respect
  • Get tested … and re-tested

Cascade AIDS Project: Communities of Color Initiative

As with President Obama, PCRI takes this day in particular to honor “the extraordinary advancements we have made in the battle against HIV and AIDS, and remembering those we have lost.”

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