World AIDS Day is observed every year on Dec. 1. This worldwide effort is designed to encourage public support; to prevent the spread of HIV infection; provide awareness and education about HIV and AIDS; and demonstrate compassion for those infected or affected by HIV.
While the Federal government's investment in treatment and research is helping people with HIV and AIDS live longer and more productive lives, HIV continues to spread at a staggering national rate. The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates nationally there were 48,100 new HIV infections. The Iowa Department of Public Health estimated that there are a total of 2,276 individuals living with HIV and AIDS in the state. These numbers only represent a portion of the epidemic - those cases that have been both confirmed through testing and reported. In Northeast Iowa, more than 85 clients are served annually by the Cedar AIDS Support System providing medical case management to those living with HIV and AIDS.
On Dec. 1 Worlds AIDS Day will be observed at the Crossroads Center in Waterloo with educational activities and events from 1 to 3 p.m. Plan to attend this important event, because education leads to compassion.