Surgeon General addresses The Salvation Army on AIDS
Western Territory holds conference call in honor of World AIDS Day.
by Bee Bryant –
On October 31, the Leadership Campaign on AIDS at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), joined with the Salvation Army’s Western Territory to hold an HIV/AIDS educational conference call for the territory’s officers and staff.
Beginning with a thank you, Admiral Kenneth Moritsugu, Acting US Surgeon General said “I’d like to take the opportunity to applaud The Salvation Army for the outstanding job the organization is doing to help so many including those who are affected by HIV and AIDS.”
He then challenged listeners to act by learning about the current state of the epidemic and ways to assist those infected, and to encourage everyone to get an HIV/AIDS test as part of their regular health regimen.
The call highlighted the latest facts about HIV/AIDS. The U.S. infection rate has remained at around 40,000 new cases every year for the past decade. An estimated 38.6 million people around the world are living with HIV.
Because the client base of Army shelter system is often in high-risk groups. Dr. Doug Loisel of the Bell Shelter in Los Angeles, discussed how to help clients access testing and community resources.
Other speakers included: Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of the National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Lt. Colonel Terry Griffin, territorial program secretary; Mr. Gordon Bingham, territorial social service secretary; Ms. Susie Quick, Addiction Treatment Services in Honolulu; and Mr. Miguel Gomez, The Leadership Campaign on AIDS, a program of the U.S. HHS. In total, 150 people took part.
In closing, Griffin said, “We hope our call today will stimulate discussion with your colleagues as to how The Salvation Army in your community can enlighten those we serve about HIV/AIDS, to support them in getting tested, and perhaps, add to the range of services that we provide to persons living with HIV/AIDS”.
A transcript, podcast, and report on the call are available on the Western Territory web site.
December 1st is World AIDS Day—For additional information, visit www.omhrc.gov/hivaidsobservances/world/index.html. To find a testing center in your area, go to www.hivtest.org