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Department of Health Reminds Pennsylvanians about the Impact of HIV and AIDS on Young People

Harrisburg, PA – In observance of National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day, Acting Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy today stressed the importance of increasing awareness about the impact of HIV and AIDS on young people and engaging local communities in meaningful discussions about the disease.

“The department hopes to use this day of awareness to engage the public about HIV/AIDS and provide younger people with facts about this epidemic,” said Acting Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy. “We also hope to shine a light on the amazing efforts of people and organizations all over the globe who are proactively working to stop new HIV transmissions. Collaboration is crucial to saving lives and helping curb the spread of this deadly virus.”

In the United States, one in four new cases of HIV occurs in persons under the age of 24. In 2012, an estimated 62,400 youth were living with HIV nationally, roughly half of whom do not know they are infected.

With funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the state of Pennsylvania, the Department of Health implements high impact prevention activities for individuals at high risk for HIV infection, including high-risk minority youth. These targeted activities include HIV/STD counseling, testing and referral services, condom distribution, evidence-based behavioral interventions and anti-stigma social marketing campaigns.

“The young people of today can change the world by learning more about how to protect themselves and their loved ones. The fight against HIV and AIDS is a fight we can win together,” said Murphy.

For information regarding HIV infection, AIDS or HIV counseling and testing services, individuals should call the Pennsylvania Department of Health AIDS Factline at 1-800-662-6080.

For fact sheets, studies and additional information on HIV/AIDS, visit the Department of Health’s website at www.health.pa.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT:   Amy Worden, DOH, 717-787-1783

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