World AIDS Day: County Health Launches HIV/AIDS Initiative

December 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Los Angeles County health officials announced an effort Friday aimed at significantly reducing the number of annual HIV infections in the county and helping bring an end to the virus that causes AIDS.

Nearly 61,000 people are living with HIV in Los Angeles County, and about 1,850 new cases are diagnosed each year — mostly among gay men and residents who are black, Latino or transgender, according to the county Department of Public Health.

“While we have made great progress in reducing new infections, HIV continues to significantly impact our county,” said Mario J. Perez, director of the department’s Division of HIV and STD Programs. “The rates of infection among certain groups are at epidemic proportions. If we can get people into treatment, the virus becomes undetectable — and undetectable equals untransmittable.”

Perez said the number of new cases each year has dropped from 6,500 in the 1990s to the current 1,850 cases annually, “and our goal is to get to 500 (new cases per year) by 2022.”

“We are now at a point where 60 percent of all cases in the county are virally suppressed — which means no detectable levels of HIV in their blood,” he said.

The county announced its goals for ending HIV/AIDS Friday — World AIDS Day — at a news conference at downtown’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, the county’s interim health officer, explained that the department is working to increase the proportion of people living with HIV who are diagnosed to at least 90 percent by 2022 and to increase the proportion of diagnosed people living with the disease who are virally suppressed to 90 percent in the next five years. Achieving viral suppression among people living with HIV is the single most effective strategy for reducing new infections and ending the epidemic, he said.

Perez said the Public Health agency is calling “for collaboration, communication and accountability from all sectors, including the community, all levels of government, and the private health sector.”

Grissel Granados, community co-chair of the initiative, said the HIV epidemic in Los Angeles can be contained.

“This is the time to center people of color, transgender people and young gay men; be unapologetically sex positive; and catch up to the science of HIV prevention, which includes the fact that when the virus is undetectable in people living with HIV, they cannot transmit HIV and that when HIV-negative people take Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, they reduce their chances of acquiring HIV,” he said.

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis — or PrEP — is a daily pill taken by people at high risk for HIV. Taken as prescribed, PrEP can reduce the chance of becoming infected by up to 99 percent. Increasing the number of people who are on PrEP is one of the most effective ways to significantly reduce new HIV infections, according to Perez.
 

Holidays In Full Swing With Parades and Tree Lightings

November 30, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Whether you’re looking for civic involvement through community meetings or just plain fun, there’s a lot going on this week.

December 1st  is World AIDS Day and events to raise awareness will beheld in commemoration.

The weekend ahead will be busy with a bevy of free fun parades and tree lighting events that include entertainment, delicious food and lots of activities for the family.

Friday, Dec. 1

10am-12pm–To Commemorate World AIDS Day, AltaMed Health Services will offer free HIV testing through its mobile unit at its clinic on 5427 Whittier Blvd., LA 90022. For more info, email ymsolis@altamed.org or veorozco@altamed.org.

6:30-9:30pm–United to End It-Bienestar Commemorates World AIDS Day with a special event at the Los Angeles Theatre where they present the Fuego Award to Graciela Beltran. To register or for more information, bit.ly/unidos2017.

7pm–Children’s Olde Fashion Christmas & Tree Lighting at Eagle Rock City Hall. Celebration includes refreshments & entertainment. Eagle Rock City Hall is located at 20135 Colorado blvd. For more info, call (323) 254-5295.

Saturday, Dec. 2

9am-3pm—Free L.A. County Household Hazardous and E-Waste Roundup in South Whittier at Liberty Community Plaza: 14181 Telegraph Rd. County residents can safely discard household hazardous waste such as antifreeze, unused pharmaceuticals, car batteries, used motor oil, paint, pesticides; home-generated sharps waste such as hypodermic needles, pen needles, syringes, lancets, and intravenous needles; universal waste including household batteries, fluorescent light bulbs; electronic waste (e-waste) such as TVs and monitors, computers, VCRs, stereos, and cell phones. For more information, contact the LA County Dept. of Public Works at 1(888) CLEAN LA, or www.888CleanLA.com, or the LA County Sanitation Districts at 1 (800) 238-0172 or www.lacsd.org.

12:30-4pm–Pop Up, Interactive Community Meeting at Grand Park with special guest and Instagram Star Jay Mendoza . First 55 guests receive a free Grand Park Rangers collector’s pin. Free giveaways for everyone. Hosted by the Grand Park Foundation to encourage the public’s participation to help shape Foundation’s funding direction and initiatives for Grand Park. Location: Grand Park Block 3- 200 N. Hill Street, LA 90012 (between Hill Street & Broadway; and Temple & 1st Streets, Downtown LA) RSVP for the at info@grandparkfoundation.org or (213) 267-8501.

3-6pm–Free 10th Annual Free Boyle Heights Winter Wonderland at Boyle Heights City Hall: 2130 E. First St. Enjoy a ride in real snow; kids activities, arts & crafts, delicious treats and great musical entertainment. Hosed by City of LA & Office of Jose Huizar. For more info, call (323) 526-9332.

5pm–10th Annual GlassellPark Tree lighting hosted by Councilman Gil Cedillo & Glassell Park Tree Lighting Committee. Location: Rite Aid Parking Lot, 4044 Eagle Rock Blvd., LA 90065. For more info, call (323) 550-1538.

Sunday, Dec. 3

1pm–73rd Annual Northeast LA Holiday Parade. Local celebrities, bands, cheer groups, car clubs, dancers, equestrian units, floats, church & community groups make their way down Figueroa Street in Highland Park for fun-filled, holiday spectacular. Keep an eye out for Santa Clause! The parade starts on North Figueroa at Avenue 60 and ends at Sycamore Grove Park. Sponsors include the Highland Park Chamber of Commerce in association with the City of LA, CD 1 Councilman Gil Cedillo, CD14 Councilman Jose Huizar and the Dept. of Cultural Affairs.

Tuesday, Dec. 5

11am–Make Beautiful Winter Ornaments at Commerce’s Rosewood Library. Additional sessions at other library locations, Dec, 5, 6, 7, 13, & 14. Make ornaments using book pages & pine cones. All supplies will be provided and light snacks will be served. Rosewood Library is located at 5655 Jillson St. Commerce, 90040. For more info, call (323) 722-6660.

Upcoming

Recycled Resources for the Homeless Annual Fundraising Gala Dec. 9. Proceeds from the event will be used to support operation of 2017/2018 Winter Shelter services in Northeast LA. The group is seeking donations for the silent auction. Sponsorships are still available. For more info, contact Rebecca at (323) 697-0001. Visit www.RecycledResources.org for more information.

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