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St. Petersburg: Candlelight Vigil to Raise Awareness of Florida HIV/AIDS Crisis, Honor Lives Lost
Date:9/25/2007

lorida today," said Michael Kahane, AIDS Healthcare Foundation Bureau Chief, Southern Region. "Ranked third in the nation in the number of AIDS cases per state, Florida's epidemic is at a crisis point and its affects are being felt in communities throughout the state. Tampa-St. Petersburg is the third largest city in Florida for cumulative AIDS cases with 10,688 people living with the disease. 32% of HIV cases in the area are female. It is hoped that this vigil will shed light on the fact that the epidemic continues to impact Florida communities and that minorities and women continue to be affected disproportionately throughout the state."

More than 4,000 HIV/AIDS cases are diagnosed in Florida every year, accounting for 10% of all new infections in the U.S., which is estimated at 40,000 new cases per year. Women accounted for 30% of the HIV cases reported in Florida in 2006. African-American comprise over 50% of the reported HIV cases in the state.

According to "Silence is Death: The Crisis of HIV/AIDS in Florida's Black Communities" (a report published by Florida's Department of Health in September 2006) in 2005 1 in 58 black males and 1 in 83 black females in Florida were living with a diagnosed case of HIV/AIDS. In 2005, for the 15th year in a row, HIV/AIDS was the leading cause of death among black males and black females aged 25-44 years. Concerned by the crisis, the Department of Health implemented a local and statewide "Silence is Death" initiative aimed at reducing the number of infections in Florida's communities of color, particularly African-American communities.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the nation's largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare, research, prevention and education provider. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 61,000 individuals in 15 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean and Asia. Additional information is available at

In Florida, AIDS Healthcare Foundation
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SOURCE AIDS Healthcare Foundation
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