DOH-LEON TO RECOGNIZE WORLD AIDS DAY WITH 2ND ANNUAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS EXHIBITION
December 01, 2022
Leon County, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Leon County (DOH-Leon) stands in solidarity with people and communities worldwide on Thursday, December 1, 2022 in observance of World AIDS Day. This year’s World AIDS Day theme is “Putting Ourselves to the Test: Achieving Equity to End HIV," which encourages people to unite globally to eliminate the barriers to HIV testing, prevention, and treatment that are holding back progress on ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
In honor of World AIDS Day, DOH-Leon in collaboration with key community partners, will host the 2nd Annual Health and Wellness Exhibition on December 1, 2022. This event celebrated as “Unity In Our Community” will be held at Cascades Park in Tallahassee, located at 1001 S. Gadsden Street, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. It will feature information about available resources and services, educational materials, entertainment, speakers, prizes, food, and a special ceremony to commemorate those who have been lost to HIV.
This event will be a time for our community’s voices to unite by sharing experiences, remembering those lost to HIV, raising awareness about HIV treatment and prevention, and standing together in the fight to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Florida has made great strides to reduce HIV transmission and continues to work toward eliminating HIV-related deaths by providing equitable access to HIV prevention and care services. The rate of HIV deaths among all persons diagnosed with HIV in Florida has declined by 31% over the last decade, but there is still more progress to be made. In 2021, there were 120,502 people living with HIV in Florida, 4,708 of whom were newly diagnosed. In Leon County, there were 1,364 people living with HIV in 2021.
“We want all Leon County residents to have the opportunity to live healthy and fulfilling lives,” said Brandi Knight, MPH, DOH Leon Health Officer. “We fight to end HIV with an extraordinary group of heath care partners that are committed to ensuring that everyone with HIV and those at-risk have access to appropriate testing, treatment, and prevention services. We encourage anyone older than 13 to know their status, get tested for HIV, and explore treatment options if they test positive.”
It is important that people know their options when it comes to HIV prevention and treatment. Medication-based HIV prevention—called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP—and HIV treatment are both based around antiretroviral therapy. Until recently, these medications were only available in pill form. Now, HIV prevention and treatment has evolved to include long-acting injectables. These medications are as effective as daily pills and provide individuals with additional options. Ensuring every single person has an HIV prevention or treatment option that works for them is key to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Protect yourself. Get tested. Know your status. Learn what’s next.
Knowing your status is the first step toward effective HIV prevention and treatment. People can reduce their risk for HIV by using appropriate prevention strategies, such as taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), using protection, and getting tested regularly. Contact a health care provider to find out if PrEP is recommended for you.
If you test positive for HIV, seeking HIV treatment is critical. Antiretroviral therapy can help people live longer, healthier lives. People living with HIV who take antiretroviral medication as prescribed and have an undetectable viral load cannot transmit HIV to their sexual partners. Both PrEP and HIV treatment medications are now available as pills and long-acting injectables.
We have the power to both prevent and treat HIV. Visit the Know Your HIV Status website to learn about testing options near you or order a free at-home HIV testing kit mailed directly to the address of your choice. For more information, call 1-800-FLA-AIDS, or 1-800-352-2437; en español, 1-800-545-SIDA; in Creole, 1-800-AIDS-101.
To learn more about DOH-Leon’s prevention and treatment options or to schedule an appointment for a no-cost HIV test, call (850) 404-6240 or visit the DOH-Leon webpage.
About the Florida Department of Health
The Department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.
Follow DOH-Leon on Twitter @Healthyleonfl