Greenwich to observe World AIDS Day — Dec. 1

World AIDS Day will be observed by the Greenwich Department of Health in the lobby of Town Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 1, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. World AIDS Day is associated with wearing a red ribbon, an instantly recognizable symbol. The Department of Health invites all citizens to wear a red ribbon on Dec. 1, and red ribbons will be distributed at Town Hall on this day.

World AIDS Day provides an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate people who have died. HIV disease continues to be a serious global health issue. While treatment for HIV/AIDS has improved, and the numbers of new cases globally have declined, inequities in access to testing and treatment continue.

Three in 5 people living with HIV globally still do not have access to retroviral therapy, or HAART, which can control the virus so that people with HIV can enjoy healthy lives and reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others. To achieve the goal of universal access to comprehensive prevention programs, treatment, and care, action is needed now. Individuals must feel empowered to take action to access screening and treatment.

The Department of Health’s Office of Special Clinical Services offers walk-in HIV and STD testing on the third floor of Town Hall, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 2 to 5 p.m. For more information, or to schedule an appointment outside of these days and hours, call 203-622-6460.

Worldwide, 36.9 million men, women and children are estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS, with 2 million new cases of HIV reported in 2014. In the United States, about 50,000 people become infected with HIV each year and approximately 1.2 million people in the U.S. were living with HIV at the end of 2012, the most recent year this information was available. Of those, about 12.8% – or 1 in 8 – do not know they are infected. To reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with this disease, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that people between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV to know their health status. HIV can affect anyone regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender, or age.

For additional information on World AIDS Day, contact Robin Clark-Smith at 203-622-6460.

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