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FOR RELEASE: November 28 , 2005
World AIDS Day, December 1
World AIDS Day will be commemorated around the globe on Thursday, Dec. 1, with news and events to highlight progress made in the battle against the AIDS epidemic and to remind people how much still needs to be done. This year's theme, "Stop AIDS: Keep the Promise," is an appeal to governments and policy makers to ensure they meet the targets they have agreed to in the fight against HIV/AIDS, according to public health officials at the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH).
In 2003, the most recent year in which both state and national AIDS data have been reported, the cumulative estimated number of AIDS cases in Oklahoma was 4,441, and nationally there were 902,223 cases. Also that year, there were 213 new AIDS cases reported in Oklahoma compared to 44,963 new AIDS cases nationally.
“AIDS has had a devastating impact on our communities. Often impoverished conditions and depressed economic circumstances tend to accompany an increased presence of HIV. We must continue to develop and implement ways to communicate effective measures that will help our citizens avoid the disease or provide easy access to receive testing for HIV, which is the virus that causes AIDS,” said Michael Harmon, chief of the OSDH HIV/STD Service. “We also need to continue to address the ongoing stigma and discrimination associated with HIV, which is a potential barrier to people coming forward for testing," he emphasized.
For locations of Oklahoma testing sites, call the toll-free 24-hour Oklahoma HIV/AIDS Hotline at 1-800-536-AIDS (2437). Some special events being planned for World AIDS Day include:
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