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For Release:  Nov. 29, 2010
Contact:  Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
(405) 271-5601

WORLD AIDS DAY 2010: Universal Access and Human Rights

World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1 each year around the world.  It has become one of the most recognized international health days and a key opportunity to raise awareness, commemorate those who have died, and celebrate victories such as increased access to treatment and prevention services, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The theme for this year is “Universal Access and Human Rights.”

Global leaders have pledged to work towards universal access to HIV and AIDS treatment, prevention and care, recognizing these as fundamental human rights.  A total of 33 million people now live with HIV/AIDS and 2 million are under age 15.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are approximately 1.1 million people in the U.S. living with HIV/AIDS.  As of December 2009, there were approximately 4,924 people living with HIV/AIDS in Oklahoma.

These are sobering numbers that highlight the urgency in recognizing and addressing issues related to HIV/AIDS.  Valuable progress has been made in increasing access to HIV and AIDS services, yet greater commitment is needed around the world if the goal of universal access is to be achieved.  Millions of people continue to be infected with HIV every year.  In low- and middle-income countries, less than half of those in need of antiretroviral therapy are receiving it, and too many do not have access to adequate care services.   Below are some events to be held in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metropolitan areas to recognize World AIDS Day:

  • The annual World AIDS Day Memorial Service will be held Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m., at the Mayflower Congregational Church , 3901 N.W. 63rd Street, Oklahoma City.  The event is sponsored by the American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma and is supported by various community-based organizations including R.A.I.N., Red Rock North, Guiding Right, Inc., Planned Parenthood, Other Options and AIDS Walk of OKC.  The event is open to the public and everyone is invited to attend.   For additional information, contact Jaeson Post at (405) 228-9545 or email jpost@ARCOK.org.
  • On Wednesday, Dec. 1, Red Rock Behavioral Health Services, 1100 N. Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, will be providing free, confidential, walk-in rapid HIV testing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For additional information, contact Michael Maus at (405) 425-0473; toll free at (877) 339-3330 or email mikem@red-rock.com .
  • The Latino Community Development Agency (LCDA), 420 S.W. 10th Street, Oklahoma City, will host a Hispanic Candle Light on Thursday, Dec. 2, to remember those persons who fought against AIDS.  The theme is “Wherever there is light, hope is there!”  The ceremony will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.  The contact is Nohora Chandler (405) 236-0701 Ext. 123, or email lcda-vih@latinoagencyokc.org.
  • The Health Education Department at Lawton Indian Hospital has collaborated with the Association of American Indian Physicians and the Oklahoma Native American AIDS Coalition to provide HIV/AIDS awareness education for the Native American Community on Wednesday, Dec. 1.   It will be held at the Moore-Norman Technology Center, 13301 S. Pennsylvania Avenue in Oklahoma City from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The presenters include Linda Salinas, M.D., and Andrew Moore of the OU Health Sciences Center; Pamela Jumper-Thurman, Colorado State University; Rick Pickens; and Pam Iron.  For registration, contact Gloria Zuniga, (405) 946-7072.
  • Tulsa CARES, a non-profit HIV/AIDS Social Service organization, 3507 E. Admiral Place, Tulsa, in partnership with MAC cosmetics, will offer free makeovers and makeup application tips and give away MAC makeup samples to members of its Women’s Group on Wednesday, Dec. 1.  Also, local hair stylists will be available to provide free haircuts to all Tulsa CARES clients.  Later in the evening, Tulsa CARES will host the reception of the Tulsa Community World AIDS Day Commemoration beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Langston University-Tulsa, 914 N. Greenwood, Tulsa.  The reception is sponsored by Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino.  For more information, contact Ally McGinnis at (918) 834-4194, or email allym@tulsacares.org .

To learn more about the 2010 World AIDS Day campaign theme of leadership and why now is the time to lead, empower, and deliver, email info@worldaidscampaign.org   or visit their Web site at http://www.worldaidscampaign.org/



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