Thursday, December 1, 2011

World AIDS Day 2011

"Today is a remarkable day. Today, we come together, as a global community, across continents, faiths and cultures, to renew our commitment to ending the AIDS pandemic – once and for all,” - President Obama

Today marks the 23rd anniversary of WORLD AIDS DAY, a global fight to end this pandemic affecting millions and millions of people everyday. The president announced a realignment of funds to provide $50 million more toward HIV/AIDS awareness and research. Being a pharmacy student this is something that I am passionate about and I always try to raise awareness about. There are currently 1.2 million americans living with this disease and although rates are declining in other countries they have remained steady in the US. Here is a list of the top 10 cities in the US with the highest HIV rates.

1 Miami, FL
2 Baton Rouge, LA
3 Jacksonville, FL
4 New York, NY-NJ-PA
5 Washington, DC-VA-MD-WV
6 Columbia, SC
7 Memphis, TN-MS-AR
8 Orlando, FL
9 New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA
10 Baltimore-Towson, MD

Being a Nigerian woman I know that this disease also affects my country heavily as well as a number of sub-saharan countries in Africa. Rates have been declining in recent years but I know that it is a slow and steady race to bringing those numbers down to zero. It starts with the importance of getting tested, knowing your status and if positive, seeking treatment as soon as it is indicated. Ladies, I cannot stress enough how important it is to #KNOWYOURSTATUS! As sexually active women we should get tested atleast once every 6 months if not sooner. There are a number of places in the DMV offering free HIV testing today so there is no excuse!
HIV testing centers:
Whitman Walker Clinic. (The clinic is also offering free testing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at two locations -- 1701 14th Street NW and 2301 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE.)
Free HIV/AIDS Testing Offered on World AIDS Day, December 1
Prince George’s Community College

Planned Parenthood
1108 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC (202) 347-8512
3937A Minnesota Ave., NE, Washington, DC (202) 388-4770
The Women’s Collective
1436 U Street, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC (202) 483-7003
Arlington Health Department
800 South Walter Reed Drive, Arlington, VA – (703) 228-5175

Planned Parenthood
1400 Spring Street, Suite 450, Silver Spring, MD 301) 608-3448
19650 Clubhouse Road, Suite 104, Gaithersburg, MD (301) 208-1300
University of Maryland Health Center
College Park, MD (301) 314-8180

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