Campaign aims to tell locals AIDS still a problem

June 2, 2011 10:46:24 PM PDT
More than 600 people are infected annually with HIV in San Francisco, according to the department of public health, and people fighting to stop the virus's spread are reminding residents today that AIDS is still a problem.

"People are still testing positive," said Henry Lucero, co-chair of 30AIDS, a campaign beginning today that aims to incite action in individuals after 30 years of AIDS being part of society.

The first case of the virus was reported nearly 30 years ago today, on June 5, 1981.

On that day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a warning about a rare lung infection found in five previously healthy gay men in Los Angeles, according to Lucero and his campaign website, www.30aids.org.

"Here we are 30 years later. It's still a problem. We still don't have a cure," he said.

But there still has been a steady decline of new cases of HIV, according to the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

In 2006, 975 new HIV infections were reported. The numbers declined in the following two years, down to a little more than 620 new cases in 2008, according to the Department of Public Health.

No statistics measuring cases from 2009 to 2011 were immediately available.

Lucero said the 30AIDS campaign will ask people via a morning news conference, and through social networking and websites, to be mindful of HIV and do something -- anything -- to prevent it from spreading.

"The most simple method of prevention we know is to use a condom," he said.

A news conference was scheduled at 10 a.m. at the city's LGBT Community Center at 1800 Market St.


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