Baltimore City Commemorates World AIDS Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:

Mona Rock: Office: (443) 984-2623, Cell: (410) 375-7763

BALTIMORE, MD (December 1, 2017) – In recognition of World AIDS Day 2017, civic and religious leaders from across Baltimore City highlighted the successes and the interventions that are working in our community to fight the epidemic. The commemoration honored those lost to AIDS in Baltimore City, recognized residents who are fighting against stigma associated with the disease, and celebrated the lives of those fighting the disease. World AIDS Day is a global annual event held on December 1 to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for those living with HIV, and commemorate those who have passed.

Baltimore City’s Providing HOPE and SOLUTIONS Now: Getting to Zero Campaign is in partnership with the Mayor’s Office, Baltimore City Health Department, Maryland Department of Health, the Greater Baltimore HIV Health Services Planning Council, the city’s HIV Planning Group, Maryland Department of Health and partner organizations serving people living with HIV in the Baltimore metropolitan area. The campaign aims to spread the message that people living with HIV can feel confident that if they have an undetectable viral load and take their medications properly, they will not pass on HIV to sexual partners (Undetectable = Untransmittable or U=U). The events also mark the release of the HIV Care Continuum Dashboard which will measure the region’s progress in reducing HIV transmission and increasing the number of people with HIV who have an undetectable viral load.

“We’ve made great strides in reducing the number of our fellow residents infected with HIV,” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh. “But, we’ve got more work to do to reduce the stigma associated with the disease and to improve the quality of life for all Baltimoreans.”

Beginning November 30 through December 1, the Baltimore City Health Department and partners across the city addressed stigma around HIV/AIDS, provided free testing for residents, and culminated with an evening event to celebrate those with HIV who are living and thriving, while honoring lives lost.

"Through the commitment of a range of public and private partners, we have continued to expand access to testing, prevention, and care for HIV,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. “As we recognize World AIDS Day, we acknowledge that we must continue to do the critical work of public health to reduce disparities and fight stigma, because we cannot afford to lose the next generation to this potential deadly, but preventable disease.”

Approximately 13,000 Baltimore City residents are living with HIV or AIDS. Nearly 2,000 people in Baltimore City are estimated to be HIV infected and not know it. In 2016, more than 8,000 people were served through Baltimore City Health Department’s Ryan White funded medical and support services. On average, the Baltimore City Health Department performs more than 50,000 HIV tests and connects thousands of individuals with HIV/AIDS to primary medical care every year.

For more information about Baltimore City’s HIV program efforts, please visit: https://health.baltimorecity.gov/programs/hivstd-services.

World AIDS Day Events

All events are free and open to the public.

Thursday, Nov 30, 2017 at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, 830 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202 - 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Baltimore in Conversation 4- Experience the fourth installment of the storytelling evening of Baltimoreans who have found the courage to live out loud and in full color.  

Friday, December 1, 2017 at the War Memorial Building, 101 North Gay Street, Baltimore MD 21202 - 8 –10 a.m.

Breakfast SymposiumProviding HOPE in the Community: Leaders Address Stigma Engage with community leaders as they discuss interventions that work to decrease stigma in the community about HIV.  

Friday, December 1, 2017 at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, 830 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202

Greater Baltimore HIV Health Services Planning Council – Providing HOPE through Policy and Advocacy – Join community planners as they honor advocates and long-term survivors of HIV during World AIDS Day. The event is from 4:30 – 7 p.m.

Project Presence - GENDER photo exhibition showcases the lives, liberties, and purest joys of non-binary people of color in Baltimore, MD. Exhibition opens at 5:30 p.m.

 

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