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updated: 11/12/2012 11:15 AM

Local Groups Partner to Organize World AIDS Day Event

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Lake County Health Department

The Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center is collaborating with several local partners to plan an event commemorating World AIDS Day on Saturday, December 1st. These partners include Alexian Brothers The Harbor, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago-Lake County Services, YWCA Lake County, Links-North Shore Youth Health Service, First Congregational United Church of Christ, Waukegan Public Schools and the Waukegan Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. World AIDS Day is an annual event that encourages people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

This year's bilingual event will feature music, dance, the sharing of inspirational thoughts and a candle-lighting ceremony. It will be held at Waukegan High School's Trapp Auditorium, 2325 Brookside in Waukegan, from 1 to 2 p.m., with a short reception following. This free event is open to the public and everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.

The local campaign is focused on erasing the stigma often associated with HIV/AIDS. The Lake County World AIDS Day committee has selected to continue the theme "Stand Against Stigma." This HIV/AIDS-related stigma includes unfavorable attitudes, beliefs, and policies directed toward people living with these conditions, as well as their loved ones and communities. Stigma can impact how people living with HIV/AIDS see themselves and how others think about them. Stigma prevents people from getting tested, seeking medical care and living full and healthy lives. Until this stigma is faced head-on, new infections will continue to rise.

The Health Department is committed to providing access to care, treatment and support for people who are living with HIV/AIDS, addressing stigma and discrimination related to these conditions and promoting HIV/AIDS prevention programs at the community level. For more information about the event, please call the Health Department's Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Program at: (847) 377-8450.

The Health Department's STI/HIV Prevention Program, located at 2400 Belvidere Road in Waukegan, offers a number of services including counseling, free and confidential testing, education, educational based support/talk groups, prevention case management and street outreach. For additional information or to make an appointment, call: (847) 377-8450.