The Huron County General Health District is recognizing World AIDS Day today.
The commemoration’s purpose is to raise awareness for HIV and AIDS, to support those living with the virus and to remember those who have died.
In the United States, it is estimated that 1.1 million people are living with HIV. The HIV virus damages the body by destroying blood cells that fight disease. HIV progresses through three stages with AIDS being the third and final stage.
In 2011, it was estimated that 34 million people worldwide were living with HIV. East and southern Africa remain the most impacted areas.
Today, Cleveland’s Tower City will be lit in red in recognition of World AIDS Day. At 7 p.m., Tower City will turn its lights off for seven minutes in a global event recognizing that HIV/AIDS affects all seven continents of the world. The AIDS Resource Center of Toledo, the University of Toledo and Cleveland City Hall will also be holding World AIDS Day events.
HIV is most commonly spread by having unprotected sex with an infected person, sharing needles for drug use and being born to a mother infected with HIV.
Free and anonymous HIV testing is available at the Huron County General Health District.
To make an appointment, call (419) 668-1652 ext. 252.