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DOH-Duval holds events for World AIDS Day

Monday, November 26, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: DCMS
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Alison A. Hewitt



Jacksonville, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in Duval County (DOH-Duval) unites with people and communities worldwide as we observe World AIDS Day by showing support for people living with HIV and honoring those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. World AIDS Day is December 1st, but Duval County has dedicated the entire week to activities to increase awareness.

“It is a very important time for our community to adopt new strategies in HIV prevention, strengthen existing partnerships and create new ones as we continue to work to end this global epidemic.”, said Erin Hess, Interim Administrator for the Florida Department of Health in Duval County.“

Over 1.1 million people in the US are living with HIV, and 1 in 7 of them don’t know it. The department remains fully committed to fighting the spread of HIV in Florida and helping connect individuals who are positive with lifesaving treatment and services.

Florida is a national leader in HIV testing. DOH and our partners throughout Florida have made great strides in prevention, identifying infections early and getting people into treatment, however there is still much work to be done. The department is focusing on four key strategies to make an even greater impact on reducing HIV rates in Florida and getting to zero, including:

·         Routine screening for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and implementation of CDC testing guidelines;

·         Increased testing among high-risk populations and providing immediate access to treatment as well as re-engaging HIV positive persons into the care system, with the ultimate goal of getting HIV positive persons to an undetectable viral load;

·         The use of PrEP and nPEP as prevention strategies to reduce the risk of contracting HIV; and

·         Increased community outreach and awareness about HIV, high-risk behaviors, the importance of knowing one’s status and if positive, quickly accessing and staying in treatment.

With early diagnosis, individuals can begin appropriate treatment and care resulting in better health outcomes. Studies have shown that providing antiretroviral therapy as early as possible after diagnosis improves a patient’s health, reduces transmission and can eventually lead to undetectable viral loads of HIV. This model has been successfully implemented in Florida and there are currently 35 Test and Treat sites operating statewide.

As part of our strategic efforts to eliminate HIV in Florida, the Department of Health is currently working to make Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) medication available at no cost at all of the 67 county health departments within the next year. PrEP is a once-daily pill that can reduce the risk of acquiring HIV in HIV-negative individuals. PrEP should be used in conjunction with other prevention methods like condoms to reduce the risk of infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), taking PrEP daily reduces the risk of getting HIV by more than 90 percent.

DOH-Duval offers PrEP at our Comprehensive Care Center on 515 West 6th Street in Jacksonville, Florida 32206. PrEP will be made available through the DOH-Duval STD and Family Planning Clinics and patients can be provided with up to a 90-day supply of medications. Some CHDs may offer PrEP through specialty clinics. Visit to locate the CHD in your county.

Every CHD also offers high-quality HIV testing services. Testing can be completed at your local county health department or you can locate HIV counseling, testing and referral sites by visiting or texting your zip code to 477493.

Events scheduled in Duval County in observance of World AIDS Day are as follows:

Monday, November 26

Event Name: AIDS Memorial Quilt Ceremony

Location: Jacksonville City Hall, 117 W. Duval St.

Time: 12 noon

Contact: Justin Bell, (904) 556-2312

Additional Info. - The Quilt will be on display from Nov. 19th thru December 3rd.


Tuesday, November 27

Event Name: Condom Blitz

Location: Various

Time: 10:00am-2:00pm

Contact: Angel Kalafatis-Russell, (904) 386-8779


Wednesday, November 28

Event Name: World AIDS Day College Outreach

Location: UNF and FSCJ (multiple campuses)

Time: 10:00am-2:00pm

Contact: Angel Kalafatis-Russell, (904) 386-8779


Thursday, November 29

Event Name: World AIDS Day College Outreach

Location: Jacksonville University

Time: 10:00am-2:00pm

Contact: Angel Kalafatis-Russell, (904) 386-8779


Event Name: Poetry Slam/Spoken Word

Location: Mary’s Pub House

901 King St. Jacksonville, FL 32204

Time: 6:30pm-9:00pm

Contact: Angel Kalafatis-Russell, (904) 386-8779

Friday, November 30

Event Name: Awards Luncheon

Location: Omni Hotel

Time: 11:30am

Contact: Sherda Pierre, (904) 356-1612 Ext. 120

Additional Info: Cost $45 per ticket if purchased before November 9, 2017 and $50 per ticket if purchased after November 9, 2017.


Event Name: Ultimate Runway Fashion Show

Location: 700 E. Union Street

Time: 7:00pm


Contact: Yolanda Kellam-Carter


Saturday, December 1

Memorial Walk @ 5:30pm


Event Name: Memorial Service

Location: West Union Missionary Baptist Church

Time: 6:00pm

Contact: Justin Bell, (904) 556-2312

Additional Info: A Service of Remembrance & Hope



About the Florida Department of Health

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