National AHF/Magic Johnson HIV Testing Tour Arrives in Denver - AIDS Healthcare Foundation's "Testing America" Tour, with Local Partners Will Host Free HIV Testing Events on Thursday, April 15th and Saturday, April 17th.
AHF's Magic Johnson 'Testing America' Tour, a six month, 48 state national cross country HIV testing tour, arrives in Denver, Colorado this week and will offer free HIV testing at two events.
The testing will take place on AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF's) new, state-of-the-art 'Testing America' mobile HIV testing unit named in honor of and in partnership with basketball legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Jr. Hosted in partnership with Servicios de La Raza and the Health Center at Auraria, the first event will take place on Thursday, April 15th from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The mobile testing unit will be located between the King Center and the Tivoli Center.
The second event will take place this Saturday, April 17th from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM at La Alma Recreation Center (1325 W. 11th Ave.) during a fashion show/wellness clinic being offered to the public. The event is sponsored by Quincinera Magazine.
The team recently achieved a major milestone after reaching the 10,000-mile mark while on the road from Little Rock, Arkansas to Tulsa, Oklahoma. After three months, and halfway through the tour, the mobile unit and its intrepid staff have reached 17 states, operated 23 testing sites and administered 2,500 free HIV tests.
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 the Health Center at Auraria and the Servicios de La Raza, we plan on demonstrating just how easy HIV testing can be. At each stop along the way on this nationwide tour including Denver 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-DelGrasso, 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. And throughout the course of testing tour, HIV testing counselors will 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 interviews with people who were tested on the mobile unit. To learn how you can sign up to follow the 'Testing America' tour, 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. "AHF 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."
COLORADO HIV/AIDS statistics
(CDC statistics through 2007, via Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts)
Cumulative AIDS Cases in COLORADO: 0.9% of US total (9,129 AIDS cases through 2007, per CDC)
AIDS Case Rate per 100,000 population in COLORADO: 7.3 (for the US, the rate is 12.5) (per CDC 2007)
Estimated number of people living with AIDS in COLORADO, all ages, 2007 4,286 (0.9% of US total)
Cumulative HIV infection cases reported in COLORADO: 6,365 (1.9% of the 337,590 officially reported US HIV infections via confidential name-based reporting"through 2007, per CDC)
THURSDAY, April 15th - 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM - Between the King Center & the Tivoli Center
SATURDAY, April 17th - 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM - Fashion Show/Wellness Clinic - La Alma Recreation Center, 1325 W. 11th Ave.
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