SOURCE: AIDS Healthcare Foundation

AIDS Healthcare Foundation, AHF, HIV/AIDS, AIDS, HIV

March 12, 2010 07:00 ET

TODAY: Nat'l AHF/Magic Johnson HIV Testing Tour Arrives in Norfolk

AIDS Healthcare Foundation's 'Testing America' Tour, With Local Partner 'Access AIDS Care,' to Host Free HIV Testing Events Today, Friday, March 12th at Huntersville Neighborhood Center From 12:00 to 5:00 pm and at 'Nutty Buddy's' Nightclub From 10:00 pm to 2:00 am

NORFOLK, VA--(Marketwire - March 12, 2010) - AIDS Healthcare Foundation's 'Testing America' Tour, With Local Partner 'Access AIDS Care,' to Host Free HIV Testing Events Today, Friday, March 12th at Huntersville Neighborhood Center From 12:00 to 5:00 pm and at 'Nutty Buddy's' Nightclub From 10:00 pm to 2:00 am 

What:   MEDIA AVAILABILITY -- AHF's 'Testing America' mobile HIV testing van continues 6-month, 48 state free HIV testing tour in Norfolk
     
When/Where:   FRIDAY, March 12th
     
    12:00 Noon to 5:00 pm
     
    Huntersville Neighborhood Center
    830 Goff Street, Norfolk, VA
     
    10:00 pm to 2:00 am
     
    'Nutty Buddy's' Nightclub
    143 East Little Creek Road, Norfolk, VA
     
B-Roll:   AHF's 'Testing America' free mobile HIV testing van for filming & photos
     
CONTACTS:   Azul Mares-DelGrasso, mobile 323.633.2982 azul.grasso@aidshealth.org
    Lori Yeghiayan, AHF Assoc. Dir. Of Communications, mobile 323.377.4312

AHF's Magic Johnson 'Testing America' Tour, a six month, 48 state national cross country HIV testing tour, arrives in Norfolk, VA and will offer free HIV testing, along with local partner 'Access AIDS Care,' at two events today Friday, March 12th. Testing will be offered at the Huntersville Neighborhood Center (830 Goff St.) from 12:00 noon until 5:00 pm and at Nutty Buddy's nightclub (143 East Little Creek Rd.) from 10:00 pm until 2:00 am. The testing will take place on AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF's) new, state-of-the-art 'Testing America' mobile HIV testing unit named in honor of and in partnership with basketball legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Jr.

The AHF/Magic Johnson 'Testing America' tour is part of a collaborative effort to raise local and national awareness about the importance -- and ease -- of HIV testing and to challenge attitudes about moving toward a streamlined model of HIV testing and counseling nationwide. AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is proud to continue its second HIV Testing Tour across the US after the successful completion of its recent and ambitious 14 city AHF Magic Johnson HIV Testing Caravan in mid-2009.

"Working with respected local partners, including Access AIDS Care, we plan on demonstrating just how easy HIV testing can be. At each stop along the way on this nationwide tour -- including Norfolk -- we will host or participate in free mobile HIV testing events and media events to raise awareness about the importance of testing," said Azul Mares-DelGrasso, Field Services Manager, National HIV Testing Tour, AHF's Public Health Division. "After six months on the road, our 'Testing America' tour culminates with a major testing event in New York City on Sunday, June 27th -- National HIV Testing Day."

During the testing tour, AIDS Healthcare Foundation will also present $1,000 grants to each of the local partners. And throughout the course of testing tour, HIV testing counselors will supply a steady stream of updates, videos and images via new media: YouTube, Facebook and Twitter postings from along the route, interviews with local partners, government officials and interviews with people who were tested on the mobile unit. To learn how you can sign up to follow the 'Testing America' tour, please visit www.freehivtest.net.

HIV Statistics in the United States
In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) began recommending routine HIV testing for all people ages 13-64, a recommendation that has not been widely implemented nationwide to date. According to an HIV/AIDS Policy Fact Sheet produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation ("The HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the United States," updated, September, 2009, with statistics through 2007), the CDC reports that:

  • There are approximately 1.1 million people currently living with HIV/AIDS in the United States, more than 468,000 of whom are living with an AIDS-defining illness.
  • Among the 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS, an estimated 21% do not know they are infected (down from 25% in 2003).
  • Many people with HIV are diagnosed late in their illness; in 2006, 36% received an AIDS diagnosis within one year of testing HIV positive.

"It is crucial that people know their HIV status and learn how to avoid becoming infected with HIV; or if they are infected, know their status, and seek medical treatment, if needed," said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "AHF is proud to spearhead this national AHF/Magic Johnson Testing America tour as a collaborative effort to raise awareness -- and reduce stigma -- around HIV testing."

VIRGINIA HIV/AIDS statistics
(CDC statistics through 2007, via Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts)

  • Cumulative AIDS Cases in VIRGINIA: 1.7% of US total (17,608 AIDS cases through 2007, per CDC)
  • AIDS Case Rate per 100,000 population in VIRGINIA: 8.2 (for the US, the rate is 12.5) (per CDC 2007) 
  • Estimated number of people living with AIDS in VIRGINIA, all ages, 2007 -- 8,872 (1.9% of US total)
  • Cumulative HIV infection cases reported in VIRGINIA: 10,887 (3.2% of the 337,590 officially reported US HIV infections -- via confidential name-based reporting -- through 2007, per CDC)

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and services to more than 125,000 individuals in 23 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean.

Contact Information

  • Testing Van Media Contact: Azul Mares-DelGrasso
    Telephone: (323) 633.2982 Mobile
    E-Mail: Email Contact

    Add'l Media Contact: Lori Yeghiayan
    Telephone: (323) 377-4312 Mobile
    E-Mail: Email Contact