December 1 is World AIDS Day

Press Release No.: 2019-017
December 1 is World AIDS Day

The Department of Public Health and Social Services STD/HIV/Viral Hepatitis Program (SHVHP) and Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP), in collaboration with WestCare Pacific Islands (WCPI), Guam’s Alternative Lifestyle Association (GALA) and our community partners, are pleased to announce the observance of World AIDS Day on December 1, 2018.

World AIDS Day is observed annually on December 1 and throughout the month of December and provides an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV, and remember those who have gone before us.  Globally, there are approximately 36.9 million people living with HIV. In the United States, there are approximately 1.1 million Americans living with HIV, and 1 in 7 of these people did not know they were infected. In Guam, there have been over 270 reported cases of HIV infection since 1985, and there are over 92 people known to be living with HIV. 

This year’s World AIDS Day event will be held on Saturday, December 1, from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at the Jose P. Lujan House in Hagåtña.  Also, a mass of special intention will be celebrated at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica on December 1 at 12:00 pm.  This year’s theme for World AIDS Day is “Know Your Status” and highlights the importance of reaching out to people living with HIV who do not know their status and ensuring that they are linked to quality care and prevention services.

We encourage individuals to know their status by getting tested.  HIV rapid tests (results available in 20 minutes) are available at the SHVHP offices at the DPHSS Mangilao and Dededo facilities as well as the offices of WCPI (Suite 202, Reflection Center in Hagåtña) and GALA (Unit 307A, 3rd floor, R.K. Plaza in Tamuning).  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 additional information regarding this year’s World AIDS Day activities, please contact Vince Aguon, SHVHP Acting Supervisor, or Dulce Maria Mendoza, Public Health Field Officer, at 735-7166/3604.  For information regarding STD/HIV/Viral Hepatitis testing services available on island, call the Guam AIDS Hotline at 734-AIDS (2437).

                                                                                    LEO G. CASIL        

                                                                                    Acting Director

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