WILTON MANORS, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AIDS Healthcare Foundation:
|Free HIV Testing All Day at Wilton Manors ‘Out of the Closet’ Thrift Store|
|Monday, December 1st from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.|
|‘Out of the Closet’ Wilton Manors Thrift Store/AHF Pharmacy|
|2097 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors, FL 33305|
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest AIDS group in the US which currently provides more than 14,000 free HIV and STD tests annually in California and Florida via its community-based testing programs through AHF’s Public Health Department, is offering extended testing hours at its Wilton Manors “Out of the Closet” Thrift Store/AHF Pharmacy location from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Monday, December 1st in observance of World AIDS Day. The extended testing hours are designed to offer increased services to the community as well as to raise awareness about the need for effective HIV prevention and testing in the region. According to the latest statistics, Florida is ranked second among states in the number of reported AIDS cases and has a new infection rate that is 60 percent higher than the national rate. The Wilton Manors testing event is part of AHF’s ‘One Million Tests World AIDS Day 2008’ campaign, a worldwide initiative to test a total of one million people in conjunction with the observance of this year’s World AIDS Day.
“While we are proud to be a part of AHF’s larger worldwide ‘One Million Tests’ campaign, it is with dismay that we report the great need for increased HIV prevention and testing efforts in South Florida. Out of all of AHF’s numerous testing programs in California and Florida, the Wilton Manors site consistently reports one of the highest positivity rates,” said Michael Kahane, Southern Region Bureau Chief for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “As new infection rates continue to soar in Florida, we hope that this World AIDS Day event at the Wilton Manors ‘Out of the Closet’ site will help raise awareness about the state’s growing HIV/AIDS epidemic and the urgency of knowing one’s HIV status to help break the chain of new infections. We strongly urge people with any questions about their own HIV status to come out and join us and get tested this weekend.”
According to a recent “Dear Colleague” letter issued by the Florida Department of Health, regarding the latest HIV/AIDS statistics: “Using CDC’s methodology, the Bureau of HIV/AIDS calculates approximately 5,550 Floridians were newly infected with HIV in 2006. The new estimate indicates that 36.4 of every 100,000 Floridians aged 13 years and older were newly infected with HIV in 2006. This rate is more than 60 percent higher than the national rate of 22.8 per 100,000 population.”
As with the national estimates, Florida’s HIV infection rates per 100,000 population demonstrate significant disparities. Most notable is the disproportionate impact of incident infections on racial/ethnic groups. In Florida, the rate of new infections per 100,000 population in 2006 among African Americans (123.7) was more than six times the rate among whites (18.8) and nearly four times the rate among Hispanics (32.0). Although African Americans comprise 14% of Florida’s population, they accounted for 48% of new HIV infections in 2006.”
The ‘One Million Tests’ World AIDS Day 2008 Global Testing Campaign has been organized by AIDS Healthcare Foundation in coalition with hundreds of global partners mobilizing non-governmental organizations (NGOs), local and national governments, international relief agencies, faith-based organizations, civil society, and the media for a collaborative effort to conduct One Million Free HIV Tests during an extended World AIDS Day week commencing on November 26th and culminating on December 1st. For more information, please visit: www.onemilliontests.org.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the US’ largest HIV/AIDS organization, as well as the operator of California’s largest alternative, community-based HIV testing program, administering over 14,000 tests per year in California and Florida. AHF currently provides treatment, care and support services to more than 86,000 individuals in 22 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean and Asia. Additional information is available at www.aidshealth.org.
In Florida, AIDS Healthcare Foundation serves more than 10,000 people living with HIV/AIDS through a variety of programs, including free HIV testing and prevention services, AHF Pharmacy, its Magic Johnson Healthcare Centers located in Miami and in Jacksonville, AHF’s statewide disease management program ‘Positive Healthcare Florida’ and its Medicare health plan, ’Positive Healthcare Partners,’ serving Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. AHF also recently opened an ‘Out of the Closet’ thrift Store in Wilton Manors, offering free HIV testing and treatment referral through an ‘AHF Pharmacy’ built adjacent to the store.