Know Your Status – Get Tested, Phoenix Mayor Stanton and Aunt Rita's Foundation Launch Statewide HIV Campaign

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HIVAZ.ORG ARIZONA’S FIRST COMPREHENSIVE ONLINE DATABASE FOR ALL THINGS HIV

A Press Conference will be held at 11:00 am, Monday, November 25th in the atrium of Phoenix’s City Hall.

CONTACT: SHERRY BUTLER

602-703-3659 sbutler@slbcom.com

PHOENIX, AZ.
November 25, 2013 

To raise awareness of the need for education and outreach, Aunt Rita’s Foundation is launching a statewide campaign that promotes HIV/AIDS awareness across Arizona. This portion of the campaign, made up of banners that will hang throughout the state, are in conjunction with World Aids Day and are designed to remind all Arizonans that HIV/AIDS is still one of the largest epidemics in global history. The only way to stop this epidemic is to know your status and get tested. The banner campaign will be unveiled at a Press Conference with Phoenix Mayor Stanton in the atrium of Phoenix’s City Hall, 200 W Washington St, Phoenix along with a 20 foot X 40 foot banner that will hang from the side of City Hall at 11:00 am on Monday November 25th.

The banners will hang in civic locations in over 20 cities including Phoenix, Tucson, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Sedona as well as every Walgreens statewide and other locations such as select Safeway centers, Bicycle Ranch of Arizona and Carefree Resort & Conference Center. In total over 270 banners will hang across Arizona celebrating World AIDS Day. The banner campaign is the launch of ProjectHIVAZ, Aunt Rita’s new HIV education and awareness campaign. HIVAZ.ORG, Arizona’s first comprehensive online database of services, providers, physicians, case managers and testing locations is the base of this campaign. HIVAZ.org is one of only a few sites of its kind in the nation and is Arizona’s online resource for HIV testing and prevention as well as to directly connect those affected by HIV/AIDS to the resources they need.

“I am proud to be a part of the Aunt Rita’s Banner campaign” said the Honorable Greg Stanton, Mayor of Phoenix, Arizona. “My wife Nicole’s brother died of AIDS, so we encourage HIV testing. There is no shame in knowing your status. Knowing your status, whether positive or negative, is the only way we are going to stop the spread of this disease.  More than 15,000 Arizonans are living with HIV – a 30% increase over the last five years and 40% of Arizonans have never had an HIV test. Our young people, aged 13-26, account for 26% of new infections! Anything we can do to bring awareness to this horrible disease is a fight worth fighting.  People need to know the facts about how to protect themselves and others from HIV. This banner campaign and World AIDS Day are important as they remind all of us that HIV has not gone away. There is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve HIV/AIDS education across Arizona.”

“This campaign is a megaphone for the message that Aunt Rita’s spreads everyday” said Aunt Rita’s Foundation Executive Director, Kit Kloeckl. “The World Health Organization’s 2013 theme for World AIDS Day is ‘Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths.’ We hope that these banners are a bold statement to all that live with HIV/AIDS that there is hope in education and to the Arizona community that HIV is still an epidemic and everyone needs to know their status and get tested. We created HIVAZ.ORG to provide Arizonans with a central database for testing and resources.”

About Aunt Rita’s: Founded in 1987, Aunt Rita’s Foundation, a 501 (c) 3, nonprofit agency that advocates HIV education and awareness and raises and equitably distributes funds to HIV/AIDS service organizations.  Aunt Rita’s’ primary fund-raiser is the AIDS Walk Phoenix & 5K Run in October. Aunt Rita’s raises money for its 18 member agencies with programs to prevent HIV/AIDS or assist those living with the disease. Money raised is equally distributed to participating agencies which include  The Bill Holt Clinic at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Chicanos Por La Causa, Compassion in Action, Concilio Latino De Salud,  Ebony House, H.E.A.L. International, HIV/AIDS Law Project, HIV Care Directions, Joshua Tree Feeding Program, McDowell Healthcare Clinic, Maricopa Interfaith HIV/AIDS Alliance, Native American Health, one n ten, The Phoenix Shanti Group, Project Hardhat, Southwest Behavioral Health Services, Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, and Terros. For more information, visit www.auntritas.org or call (602) 882-8675.


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