World AIDS Day observed Dec. 1

World AIDS Day will be observed around the world and by the Greenwich Department of Health on Thursday, Dec. 1.

World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held for the first time in 1988. Since that time, World AIDS Day has become one of the most recognized international health days, and is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic, commemorating those who have passed on, and celebrating victories.

This year’s World AIDS Day theme is “Leadership — Commitment — Impact.” In support of those with HIV and their loved ones, the Health Department will be distributing red ribbons to the public in the Lobby of Greenwich Town Hall this Thursday, from 9-11 a.m.

HIV continues to be a serious global health issue. While treatment has improved, inequities in access to testing and treatment continue.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), worldwide, there are an estimated 37 million people living with HIV/AIDS.  In 2015, more than 1 million people died from AIDS, and over 2 million people were newly infected with HIV. Since the virus was identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

Today, many important scientific advances have been made in HIV testing and treatment. The CDC continues to recommend HIV testing for people with risk factors between the ages of 13 and 64. The Department of Health’s Office of Special Clinical Services offers walk-in testing for HIV and other sexually-transmitted diseases on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-5 p.m. For more information or to schedule an appointment outside of these days and hours, call 203-622-6460.

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