AHF/Magic Johnson 'Testing America' HIV testing tour hits Phoenix Jan. 19th

AHF Partners with Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS in Free Testing Event at the One Voice LGBT Community Center on West Indian Road

PHOENIX, AZ /LGBT News - BUSINESS WIRE/ AIDS Healthcare Foundation:

WHAT:


MEDIA AVAILABILITY — AHF/Magic Johnson mobile HIV testing van continues its six month, 48 state ‘Testing America’ Tour with stop in Phoenix


WHEN:


TUESDAY, Jan. 19th, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


WHERE:


One Voice, LGBT Community Center


725 West Indian School Road, Suite #125, Phoenix, AZ 85013

WHO:


Local Arizona Participants:



-- Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS


National Participants:



-- AIDS Healthcare Foundation – Public Health Division


-- Azul Mares-DelGrasso, M.A., National HIV Testing Tour



-- Eric Boyd, Program Manager, AHF’s Mobile Testing Units

B-ROLL:


The AHF/Magic Johnson ‘Testing America’ free mobile HIV testing van will be available for filming & photos (with 9 ft. tall photo of Magic on the side of the van)


CONTACTS:


PHOENIX — Azul Mares-DelGrasso, mobile 323-633-2982, azul.grasso@aidshealth.org



LOS ANGELES — Ged Kenslea, AHF Communications Director, mobile 323-791-5526


The AHF/Magic Johnson ‘Testing America’ Tour, a six month, 48 state national cross country HIV testing tour, rolls into Phoenix, Arizona, for a testing event from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, January 19th. Free testing will take place on AHF’s new, state-of-the-art ‘Testing America’ mobile HIV testing unit at the One Voice LGBT Community Center (725 West Indian Road, Phoenix, 85013). AHF is working in conjunction with the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS.

The AHF/Magic Johnson ‘Testing America’ tour is part of a collaborative effort to raise local and national awareness about the importance — and ease — of HIV testing and to challenge attitudes about moving toward a streamlined model of HIV testing and counseling nationwide. AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is proud to continue its second HIV Testing Tour across the US after the successful completion of its recent and ambitious 14 city AHF Magic Johnson HIV Testing Caravan in mid-2009.

“At each stop along the way on this nationwide tour — including Phoenix — we will participate in free testing and media events to raise awareness about the importance and ease of HIV testing,” said Azul Mares-DelGrasso, Field Services Manager, National HIV Testing Tour, AHF’s Public Health Division. “The intent is to promote the need for HIV testing as a good preventive health strategy, highlight respected local HIV/AIDS service agencies like the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS and put HIV back on top of the national agenda priority list. We are following the Centers for Disease Control’s revised recommendations from 2006 for routine screening of the general population for HIV, and our ‘Testing America’ tour, is a unique way to promote the importance for individuals to get tested, know their status, and if positive, seek treatment to prevent the onset of AIDS.”

During the testing tour, AIDS Healthcare Foundation will also present $1,000 grants to each of the local partners AHF is collaborating with along the way. And throughout the course of the cross country HIV testing tour, HIV testing counselors will also supply a steady stream of updates, videos and images via new media: YouTube, Facebook and Twitter postings from along the route, interviews with local partners, government officials and, when appropriate and available, interviews with people who were tested on the mobile unit. To learn how you can sign up to follow the ‘Testing America’ tour on these social media outlets, please visit www.freehivtest.net.

HIV Statistics in the United States

In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) began recommending routine HIV testing for all people ages 13-64, a recommendation that has not been widely implemented nationwide to date. According to an HIV/AIDS Policy Fact Sheet produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation (“The HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the United States,” updated, September 2009, with statistics through 2007), the CDC reports that:

  • There are approximately 1.1 million people currently living with HIV/AIDS in the United States, more than 468,000 of whom are living with an AIDS-defining illness.
  • Among the 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS, an estimated 21% do not know they are infected (down from 25% in 2003).
  • Many people with HIV are diagnosed late in their illness; in 2006, 36% received an AIDS diagnosis within one year of testing HIV positive.

“AIDS Healthcare Foundation is proud to spearhead this national AHF/Magic Johnson ‘Testing America’ tour as a collaborative effort to raise awareness — and reduce stigma — around HIV testing,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

Phoenix, AZ — Tuesday, Jan. 19

  • local partners:
    • Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS
  • Testing event (12 p.m.-5 p.m.) One Voice LGBT Community Center, 725 West Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85013

ARIZONA HIV/AIDS statistics

(CDC statistics through 2007, via Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts)

  • Cumulative AIDS Cases in ARIZONA 1.1% of US total (10,975 AIDS cases through 2007, per CDC)
  • AIDS Case Rate per 100,000 population in ARIZONA: 9.2 (for the US, the rate is 12.5) (per CDC 2007)
  • Estimated number of people living with AIDS in ARIZONA, all ages, 2007: 5,110 (1.1% of US total)
  • Cumulative HIV infection cases reported in ARIZONA: 6,418 (1.9% of the 337,590 officially reported US HIV infections — via confidential name-based reporting — through 2007, per CDC)

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and services to more than 125,000 individuals in 23 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean the Asia/Pacific region and Eastern Europe. www.aidshealth.org


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