National AHF/Magic Johnson HIV Testing Tour tumbles into Albuquerque Jan. 22

Albuquerque, NM, Jan. 21, 2010 /LGBT News - Business Wire/ AIDS Healthcare Foundation:

What:






MEDIA AVAILABILITY — AHF’s ‘Testing America’ mobile HIV testing van continues six month, 48 state national free HIV testing tour in Albuquerque.








When:






FRIDAY, Jan 22nd 10:00am to 2:00pm








Where:






El Mezquite Market, 201 San Pedro SE, Albuquerque 87018







(cross street: Central)







Who:






Local Albuquerque Participants:







-- New Mexico AIDS Services






National Participant:







-- AIDS Healthcare Foundation – Public Health Division






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







B-ROLL






AHF’s ‘Testing America’ free mobile HIV testing van for filming & photos







CONTACTS:






ALBUQUERQUE—






Azul Mares-DelGrasso, mobile 323.633.2982 azul.grasso@aidshealth.org







LOS ANGELES—






Ged Kenslea, AHF Communications Director mobile 323.791.5526








AHF’s Magic Johnson ‘Testing America’ Tour, a six month, 48 state national cross country HIV testing tour, will tumble into Albuquerque, New Mexico for a testing event at El Mezquite Market from 10am to 2pm Friday January 22nd. Free testing will take place on AHF’s new, state-of-the-art ‘Testing America’ mobile HIV testing unit. AHF is working in conjunction with New Mexico AIDS Services, a respected local non-profit HIV/AIDS organization.

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.

“Working with respected local partners including New Mexico AIDS Services in Albuquerque, we plan on demonstrating just how easy HIV testing can be. At each stop along the way on this nationwide tour—including Albuquerque—we will host or participate in free mobile HIV testing events and media events to raise awareness about the importance of testing,” said Azul Mares-Del Grasso, Field Services Manager, National HIV Testing Tour, AHF’s Public Health Division. “After six months on the road, our ‘Testing America’ tour culminates with a major testing event in New York City on Sunday, June 27th—National HIV Testing Day.”

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.

“It is crucial that people know their HIV status and learn how to avoid becoming infected with HIV; or if they are infected, know their status, and seek medical treatment, if needed,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “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.”

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Friday, Jan 22

  • local partners: New Mexico AIDS Services
  • Testing event (10am-2pm) El Mezquite Market, 201 San Pedro SE, Albuquerque NM 87018

NEW MEXICO HIV/AIDS statistics

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

  • Cumulative AIDS Cases in NEW MEXICO: 0.3% of US total (2,721 AIDS cases through 2007, per CDC)
  • AIDS Case Rate per 100,000 population in NEW MEXICO: 5.7 (for the US, the rate is 12.5) (per CDC 2007)
  • Estimated number of people living with AIDS in NEW MEXICO, all ages, 2007—1,339 (0.3% of US total)
  • Cumulative HIV infection cases reported in NEW MEXICO: 1,001 (0.3% 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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