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Rhode Island Community Groups Observe World AIDS Day, 2013

With the goal of raising awareness about HIV prevention, the Rhode Island Coalition for HIV Prevention will be conducting Rhode Island’s 2nd Annual World AIDS Day Event at the Rhode Island Statehouse on Monday, December 2, 2013 at 12:00 noon.  Featured speakers include Governor Lincoln Chafee, First Lady Mrs. Stephanie Chafee, State Representative Frank Ferri, Dr. Philip A. Chan, Kayla Wingert, and Anthony Maselli. 

It’s estimated that 1,593 Rhode Islanders have died from HIV/AIDS since 1983.  Approximately 2,200 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Rhode Island and up to 100 people are infected with HIV each year.  It’s estimated that 400 Rhode Islanders are infected with HIV and are unaware of their status.

According Thomas Bertrand, MPH, executive director of AIDS Project Rhode Island, “Although HIV is a disease that can be managed through medication, it’s important to recognize that the lifetime costs of HIV is estimated to be $368,000 and that many people living with HIV experience silent suffering related to stigma and discrimination.  It is extremely important that the state continue to invest in sustained primary prevention efforts through grants to community based organizations.” 

Shannon Spurlock, MA, senior consultant, JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc., emphasizes that “Young people may not realize their personal risk for HIV.  Education and HIV prevention is key for reducing risk in Rhode Island.”

The 26th World AIDS Day will be observed around the world and throughout Rhode Island during the first week of December, 2013.  The following events are planned that are free and open to the public:

A Night of Sonnet & Song

-       Sunday, December 1st, 5:30 pm

-       St. Ann's Arts & Cultural Center, 84 Cumberland Street, Woonsocket, RI.

-       Sponsored by Family Resources Community Action and Thundermist Health Center

-       Contact Person: Lorna Cohen, LCohen@famresri.org

Rhode Island World AIDS Day Statehouse Event

-          Monday, December 2, 2013, 12:00 noon

-          Rhode Island Statehouse

-          Featured Speakers: Governor Lincoln Chafee, First Lady Mrs. Stephanie Chafee, State Representative Frank Ferri, Dr. Philip A. Chan, Anthony Maselli, Kayla Wingert

-          Sponsored by Rhode Island Coalition for HIV Prevention

-          Contact Person: Thomas Bertrand, Thomas@aidsprojectri.org

Providence RED Event

-          Monday, December 2, 2013, 6:00 pm

-          Biltmore Hotel (Floor 18), Providence, RI

-          Sponsored by City of Providence

-          Contact Person: Debbie Blitz, DBlitz@providenceri.com

RISD Memorial & Candlelight Blessing

-          Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 7:00 pm

-          RISD Metcalf Auditorium, Chace Center

-          Featured Speaker: River Huston, author of “A Positive Life”

-          Sponsored by RISD Office of Intercultural Student Engagement

-          Contact Person: Christopher Lauth, CLauth@RISD.edu

-          Additional Information: the National AIDS Quilt Display, December 2-6, Fleet Library, viewing 9am – 5pm daily.

Additional events planned for the week of World AIDS Day by the Rhode Island Department of Health include:

Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) Press Conference & Campaign Launch

-       Monday, December 2, 2013, 2:00 pm

-       HEALTH, Three Capitol Hill, Providence, RI (Lower Level, Department Operations Center)

-       Program: To launch and unveil new campaigns for HIV testing & prevention and other education initiatives

-       Sponsored by HEALTH

-       Contact Person: Andrea Bagnall Degos, acting public information officer

Getting to Zero: 2013 HIV/STD Summit on Prevention, Testing, and Care

-     Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 8:30-am - 4:30 pm

-     Radisson Hotel-Providence Airport, Warwick, RI

-     Program: This conference will bring together RI HIV & STD providers, case managers, community and state agencies, consumers, and other stakeholders to learn about and link the best strategies for the highest impact on prevention and care in RI.

-      Sponsored by HEALTH and Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School

-       Contact Person: Andrea Bagnall Degos, HEALTH acting public information officer

Public Health Grand Rounds Presentation for Healthcare Providers: HIV/STD Prevention, Testing, and Care

-       Thursday, December 5, 2013

-       HEALTH, Three Capitol Hill, Providence, RI (Lower Level, Department Operations Center)        

-       Program: This continuing medical education session and simulcast webinar for RI HIV & STD healthcare providers will address high impact on prevention and care in RI.

-       Sponsored by HEALTH and/in conjunction with Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School

-       Contact Person: Andrea Bagnall Degos, HEALTH acting public information officer

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