Hartford – In recognition of World AIDS Day, December 1, 2013, organizations funded by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) will host events during the week of December 2nd through December 6th.


DPH funds programs to conduct outreach and HIV testing in communities highly impacted by HIV and to increase routine HIV testing by health care providers. People who test positive are connected to appropriate medical care, including treatment, and other support services.


“Early detection and treatment for HIV can help improve health outcomes for people who are infected and reduce transmission,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested at least once and that those at higher risk get tested at least once a year. Gay and bisexual men may benefit from getting tested more often, such as every 3 to 6 months.”


DPH data indicate that as of 12/31/11, 10,378 people were living with HIV in Connecticut, including 348 individuals newly diagnosed in 2011. African-Americans, Hispanics, and gay and bisexual men of all races/ethnicities continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV. 


“Getting to Zero” is the theme selected by the World AIDS Campaign to commemorate World AIDS Day on  December 1st. The theme will be used until 2015 and echoes the United Nations AIDS vision of achieving “Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths.”


This theme closely aligns with the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) released in 2010, which include reducing the number of people who become infected with HIV, increasing access to care for people living with HIV and reducing HIV-related health disparities.  


For a list of free World AIDS Day events in Connecticut, please visit http://www.aids-ct.org/wad.html. For information about where to get tested for HIV, please visit www.ct.gov/dph/hiv or call (860) 509-7801. Anyone who is 13 years of age or older can be tested and treated confidentially and without parental consent.