December 1 is World AIDS Day

For Immediate Release

November 20, 2017; 4:50pm

DPHSS Release No. 2018-07

December 1 is World AIDS Day

The Department of Public Health and Social Services STD/HIV Program and Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, in collaboration with WestCare Pacific Islands (WCPI), Guam’s Alternative Lifestyle Association (GALA) and community partners, are pleased to announce the observance of World AIDS Day on December 1, 2017.  World AIDS Day is observed annually on December 1 and throughout the month of December to raise awareness about the global impact of HIV/AIDS, and to recommit ourselves toward achieving an AIDS-free generation.

To commemorate World AIDS Day, an event will be held on Friday, December 1, from 5:30pm to 9:30pm, at the Chamorro Village - Festival Village site. The 2017 Guam theme for World AIDS Day is “Love. Hope. Life.” and signifies the need to end the negative impact of HIV: stigma, isolation, and HIV transmission.

Globally, there are approximately 36.7 million people living with HIV. In the United States, there are approximately 1.1 million Americans living with HIV, and 1 in 7 people are unaware of their infection. In Guam, there have been 263 cases of HIV infection reported since 1985, and there are approximately 86 people known to be living with HIV.  HIV continues to be a global public health issue and it is important for us to come together to raise awareness about the global HIV epidemic.  

To show support and raise awareness: 1) attend the World AIDS Day event; 2) wear a red ribbon; 3) light a candle; and 4) say a prayer for those who have died of AIDS.  We encourage individuals to know their status by getting tested.  HIV rapid testing is available at WCPI, GALA, and Central/Northern Public Health STD/HIV Program offices; test results are available within 30 minutes. You may also contact your health care provider to take an HIV test. Life-saving drugs and treatment are available for persons testing HIV positive.  For information regarding STD/HIV testing services, call the Guam AIDS Hotline at 734-AIDS (2437), GALA: 487-4306 or WCPI: 472-0218 ext. 104/9. 

For additional information, please contact Toni Junious, Public Health Field Officer, at 735-3604 or 735-7149, or visit the Prutehi Hao Facebook page at www.facebook.com/prutehihao, or Gala’s website at www.galaguam.org