New Orleans Launches Anti-HIV Campaign

Nurse Preparing Patient To Do A Blood Analysis
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NEW ORLEANS – On Dec. 1, a day set aside to raise awareness of the HIV epidemic and remembering those lost to the disease, leaders in New Orleans and the seven surrounding parishes kicked off a campaign to reduce new HIV transmissions, while increasing prevention, knowledge, education and access to available services.

The “Bounce to Zero” campaign officially launched at a press conference at New Orleans City Hall. It is the local implementation of the national effort aiming to reduce the number of new HIV infections in the United States by 95% by 2030. It is being coordinated by the New Orleans Health Department.

The New Orleans metro area has the highest number of HIV cases in Louisiana and was identified as one of 57 priority jurisdictions in the federal effort of Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. by 2030.

“The epic goal of ending the HIV epidemic requires multiple levels of health education as well as awareness and treatment. This campaign provides motivation, community engagement and a central place for people to get the information they need to take care of themselves and others,” said Dr. Jennifer Avegno, director of the New Orleans Department of Health. “One in seven people with HIV do not know they have it; awareness and treatment are critical.”

World AIDS Day was started in 1988 to provide a day for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show their support for those living with HIV, and to remember people who have died from an AIDS-related illness. It is commemorated annually on December 1, which makes the start of the Bounce to Zero campaign even more timely.

The Bounce to Zero campaign has a unique New Orleans feel with its nod to the Bounce music culture made popular in the city in the 1980s. It is designed as a positive, forward-focused campaign to anchor the various parts of the overall initiative and encourage people to get involved.

In addition to being the centralized location for information on where to get support, treatment, and information, Bounce to Zero encourages people to actively get involved in ending the HIV epidemic by taking action in their own lives. Steps as simple as knowing your HIV status, talking about HIV, being informed, and educating others about prevention and treatment options help understand the subject.

Touting the importance and ease of participating in the campaign, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng were among the first to sign their names on the Bounce to Zero Pledge.

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