The City of Miami Beach, Care Resource and the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have teamed with numerous community partners in organizing a large-scale public health initiative in Miami Beach to increase voluntary HIV testing so that every resident has the opportunity to learn his or her HIV status and gain access to education, quality care and prevention.
Four free public health events seeking to increase voluntary HIV testing in the City of Miami-Beach are scheduled throughout May. The first testing occurs during AIDS WALK MIAMI on April 27th at the Miami Beach Convention Center from 8:00am to 12:00pm. Joining the Walk this year as Master of Ceremonies is Miami Beach Mayor, Philip Levine. Our Grand Marshal is television personality Alexia Echevarria from the Bravo Network’s hit reality show ‘The Real Housewives of Miami’. Other health events will be held 10:00am – 4:00pm on May 10th in Lummus Park, May 18th at North Shore Open Space Park and May 28th at Miami Beach City Hall.
Attending the health initiative on May 28th is Dr. Robert Gallo. Dr. Gallo is an eminent scientist who co-discovered HIV as the cause of AIDS and developed the HIV blood test in 1984. He is currently the founder and director of the IHV, established to create and develop a world-class center of excellence focusing on chronic viral diseases, especially HIV/AIDS and virally-linked cancers. At 5:30pm, he and Robert Gray, a member of the Institute of IHV advisory board, will be recognized at Miami Beach City Hall by Miami Beach Commissioner Micky Steinberg.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 125,000 people in Florida are believed to be living with HIV. Miami- Dade County is ranked number one in the nation with the highest number of new AIDS cases per capita. Moreover, according to Miami-Dade HIV/AIDS Surveillance, the number of newly reported cases of HIV in Miami Beach rose by about 35% from 2012 to 2013.
These events are an opportunity for the Miami Beach community to unite, become more educated about HIV and AIDS, better guard their health and minimize the impact of living with the virus. Early detection, tracking of referrals, and the linkage and retention of prevention/care is critical to HIV management and reducing/stopping the spread of the virus.
About Care Resource
Care Resource is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that provides comprehensive primary medical and preventive care, including health, oral and mental health/substance abuse services to all individuals in our community. For more information visit, www.careresource.org.
About the Institute of Human Virology (IHV)
The Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine combines the disciplines of basic science, epidemiology and clinical research in a concerted effort to speed the discovery of diagnostics and therapeutics for a wide variety of chronic and deadly viral and immune disorders – most notably HIV, the cause of AIDS. For more information, visit, http://www.ihv.org.
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