Flagstaff commemorates World AIDS Day

FLAGSTAFF - Friday, Dec. 1, is World AIDS Day, the international day of action aimed at raising awareness and halting the spread of HIV. World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the battle against HIV and AIDS.

The fight against AIDS is more than 25 years old, yet the number of people infected is still rising by approximately 5 million every year. Nearly 40 million people are living with HIV throughout the world - and that number increases in every region every day, according to UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on AIDS and HIV.

In response, the National AIDS Trust has launched the "Stop AIDS; Keep the Promise" campaign. This unifying theme will be used for the hundreds of events and activities taking place around the world to raise awareness on World AIDS Day.

The Flagstaff World AIDS Day Planning Committee has broadened the theme to include "Know Your Status: Take the Test."

The committee encourages you to take part in this international observance. There are many ways in which you can support World AIDS Day and show support for people living with the disease by:

- Wearing a red ribbon and asking others to do the same;

- Helping raise awareness of HIV and AIDS in our community;

- Participating in World AIDS Day events in our community;

- Protecting yourself and your partners - this is the first and best way to stop the spread of HIV;

- Know Your Status: Take the Test.

The Red Ribbon is an international symbol of AIDS awareness that is worn by people all year round and particularly around World AIDS Day to demonstrate care and concern about HIV and AIDS, and to remind others of the need for their support and commitment.

Flagstaff Events:

Today, Nov. 29

Community Forum on the State of HIV/AIDS in Northern Arizona; 7-9 p.m., Flagstaff City Council Chambers, 211 W. Aspen, Flagstaff. This event is sponsored by North Country Community Health Center, Shandiin Project at Flagstaff Medical Center, and the Coconino County Health Department (CCHD) HIV Team. For more information contact Jessica Pope at 928-213-6112.

Friday, Dec. 1

Free, confidential rapid HIV Testing: (results in 20 minutes)

8 a.m.-4 p.m., CCHD Clinic, 2625 N. King St., Flagstaff; and 3-9 p.m., CCHD Dental Clinic, 304 S. Humphreys St., Flagstaff.

Moment of Silence:

A moment of silence will be observed throughout Arizona at 7:25 pm.

Candlelight Vigil:

8 p.m. Ashurst Auditorium, NAU Campus, Flagstaff.

For more information call the Coconino County Health Department at (928) 522-7890 or toll-free at 1-877-522-7800.

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