World AIDS Day Aims To Increase Awareness

By Kiera Morgan:

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners approved the proclamation of today as World AIDS Day. This day serves to commemorate the lives that have been lost to HIV/AIDS and as a reminder of how far we have come. It also provides motivation to keep working toward finally seeing an end to new HIV/AIDS diagnoses.

HIV was first identified in 1984 and since then over 36 million people have died from HIV/AIDS worldwide. Because of these losses, there has been many great strides in treatment and prevention. The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day is, “Increasing Impact through Transparency, Accountability, and Partnership.” The first World Aids day took place in 1988.

County Commissioner Bill Hall explained the goals of the declaration. “Designed to increase awareness and understanding of HIV/AIDS. It is a global challenge to prevent further spread of the disease through prevention activities and programs. It is also to have sustained action for new HIV infections and assure life saving treatment for everyone suffering from HIV/AIDS.”

Erin Parrish with Lincoln County public health told the commissioners that the purpose of World Aids day is to commemorate the lives of those lost and to also to look ahead to what can be done to help stop the spread of the disease in the future. She said most people are unaware of their HIV status.

One of the challenges she pointed out is that people can live a long time with HIV and not know that they have it, and are more likely to spread the disease to others. It was also pointed out that seniors have a high risk of contracting AIDs because of their lack of knowledge about testing. For more information or to inquire about services or to make an appointment contact the Lincoln County Public Health clinic.