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HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Effective Date: Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

WHEREAS, the greatest asset of Alaska is our people and the health and wellbeing of Alaskans is essential for a bright future; and

WHEREAS, worldwide, there are over 34 million people living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Approximately 30 million lives have already been claimed as a result of these tragic illnesses; and

WHEREAS, since reporting began in 1982, 1,482 cases of HIV/AIDS have been reported in Alaska. Of those, 528 Alaskans are known to have died, and many more family members, friends, and loved ones have been impacted; and

WHEREAS, we appreciate the work of many dedicated Alaskans and medical, philanthropic, religious, and community organizations which provide screening, treatment, and support for HIV/AIDS patients and their loved ones, and work to educate Alaskans and raise awareness of the risks in their communities; and

WHEREAS, Alaskans can protect themselves by learning about HIV/AIDS, avoiding high risk behaviors, and talking to young people about the value of practicing abstinence. As there is no known cure for HIV/AIDS, prevention is crucial and the only way to decrease the occurrence of HIV/AIDS in Alaska; and

WHEREAS, World AIDS Day was established on December 1, 1988 to increase awareness, fight stigma, and improve education about HIV/AIDS.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sean Parnell, Governor of the State of Alaska, do hereby proclaim December 1, 2013 as:

HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, increase their awareness and understanding of HIV/AIDS, to participate in prevention activities and efforts, and to offer compassion, support, and understanding to those who are affected and their loved ones.

Dated: November 19, 2013

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