MIAMI – The Office of Community Advocacy and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) Advisory Board, join the Florida Department of Health (DOH) in Miami-Dade County and the community observing World AIDS Day by showing support for people living with HIV and honoring those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. This year’s national theme is “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice”.
On Dec. 1, 2021, the Miami-Dade County Commission will consider a resolution declaring every December 1st, “World Aids Day”. This legislation is sponsored by Senator Rene Garcia and co-sponsored by Vice Chairman Oliver Gilbert and Commissioner Sally A. Heyman.
On May 4, 2021, the Board of County Commissioners adopted resolution 453-21, renaming the “Getting to Zero in Miami-Dade County Awareness Week” to “Ending the HIV Epidemic in Miami-Dade County Awareness Week,” and declaring the week of February 14, 2022, and the third week in February of each year thereafter as same. Commissioner Sally A. Heyman was the prime sponsor and Senator Rene Garcia co-sponsored it.
In 2018, Miami-Dade County launched branded condoms, which are available free of charge through our partners in the campaign, the Florida Department of Health. In 2017, resolution 622-17 had declared the third week in February as "Getting 2 Zero Miami-Dade County Awareness Week" with the goal to get to zero new HIV/AIDS cases, zero AIDS related deaths, zero stigma, and zero discrimination.
In 2011, Commissioner Joe A. Martinez sponsored a resolution declaring the first week in December as Miami-Dade County Aids Awareness Week. The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County and community partners will be collaborating to host numerous community events to raise awareness, show support for people living with HIV, and remember those we have lost to AIDS. Please visit http://www.testmiami.org to see a list of events for World AIDS Day.
In Miami-Dade County, approximately 28,000 people are living with HIV, making this a public health issue that impacts our entire society. Florida is a national leader in HIV testing, the DOH and their community partners throughout Florida have made great strides in prevention, identifying infections early and getting people into treatment. The focus is on four key strategies to make an even greater impact on reducing HIV rates in Florida and getting to zero, including:
- Routine screening for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and implementation of CDC testing guidelines
- Increased testing among high-risk populations and providing immediate access to treatment as well as re-engaging HIV positive persons into the care system, with the ultimate goal of getting HIV positive persons to an undetectable viral load;
- The use of PrEP and nPEP as prevention strategies to reduce the risk of contracting HIV; and
- Increased community outreach and awareness about HIV, high-risk behaviors, the importance of knowing one’s status and if positive, quickly accessing and staying in treatment
With early diagnosis, individuals can begin appropriate treatment and care resulting in better health outcomes. Free at-home HIV testing kits are available for all Miami Dade County residents. You can find out your HIV status in 20 minutes from the comfort of your home. Order your FREE kit today by visiting www.TestMiami.org. If you want to speak to a certified HIV counselor, please call 786-792-5269.
For more information, please call the Florida AIDS Hotline at 1-800-FLA-AIDS or 1-800-352-2437; en Espanol, 1-800-545-SIDA; in Creole, 1-800-AIDS-101; or contact Office of Community Advocacy Communications and Media Director Griselle Marino at 305-375-1585.
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