Ė Planned Parenthood: Shasta-Diablo (PPSD) in collaboration with local agencies will be leading the second annual World AIDS Day march on December 1, 2008 to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and encourage the community to get tested.
Local teens who serve as Peer Educators in our community will take the lead in the candlelight march on Monday, December 1, 2008. The community is invited to meet at 6:00pm at the Four Corners Shopping Center (NAPA Parking lot) on the corner of Hartnell and Churn Creek Road and join in the march to the Spiritual Enrichment Center at 1905 Hartnell Avenue. The march will be followed by a Rememberance Celebration.
During the week of World AIDS Day, from December 1-5, 2008, the PPSD Health Center (2935 Bechelli Lane) will be offering low cost rapid HIV testing. With rapid HIV testing, clients will know their results by the end of their visit.
Director of Community Services & Education, Mary St. John says, "HIV is not something that effects other people and it does not discriminate by race, status or income. Anyone who is sexually active needs to get tested on a regular basis."
AIDS is the fourth leading cause of death globally and since first recognized in 1981, has killed more than 25 million people. Even more shocking, the CDC projects that 40,000 new HIV infections occur in the US every year. Half of those infected are people under the age of 25.
Peer Educators work to raise awareness about healthy sexuality among their peers in the community. During World AIDS Day they will encourage their community to get tested and for individuals to know their HIV status. New studies show that 1 out of 4 people infected with HIV donít know they have the virus because they are not getting tested. According to the CDC, in the US, two teens are infected with the virus every hour of every day.
Following the march at 7:00pm a Rememberance Celebration will be held at the Spiritual Enrichment Center and is open for the community to participate. This event is sponsored and supported by a collaboration of community agencies including Shasta County HIV/AIDS Advocacy Group, Spiritual Enrichment Center, Redding Rancheria Fund of the Shasta Regional Community Foundation, the Shasta County Interfaith Forum, Shasta County HIV/AIDS Food Bank, and Planned Parenthood: Shasta-Diablo.