World AIDS Day Scheduled for December 1

November 18, 1999

December 1 marks the start of a year-long initiative to draw greater attention to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States and around the world.  

According to Martha Phillips, coordinator of HIV/AIDS Prevention Education for the West Virginia Department of Education, World AIDS Day, scheduled for December 1, was first observed in 1988. World AIDS Day was initiated to strengthen global efforts to address the challenges of the AIDS epidemic.  

"This year's theme, ‘Listen, Learn and Live,' is designed to encourage and educate people to open new lines of communication concerning the AIDS epidemic," Phillips said. "The objective is to motivate young people under 25 to speak out about the issue and to educate themselves and others to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. Young people can play a vital role in HIV/AIDS prevention."  

Phillips said that West Virginia recently announced that the epidemic has affected over 1500 people in the state – 1,000 diagnosed with AIDS and over 500 who have tested positive for HIV antibodies but have not yet progressed to AIDS.  

For more information about AIDS in West Virginia, contact the West Virginia AIDS Hotline at 1-800-642-8244.

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