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World AIDS Day Events to Focus on Health Inequities

For Immediate Release: Friday, November 19, 2021

Montgomery County’s HIV/STI Services, part of the County’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), will partner with the Montgomery County (MD) Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. to host a World AIDS Day Solidarity for Health Equity Breakfast on Wednesday, Dec. 1 at the VisArts Gallery at 155 Gibbs Street in Rockville. The goal of the event is to raise awareness of health inequities driving the county’s persistent HIV epidemic. The event will feature an opening address by Montgomery County Councilmember At-Large Will Jawando, an interactive panel discussion with local HIV experts and women’s health advocates, HIV testing, and community partner showcases.

Councilmember Jawando, the keynote speaker, says the County’s HIV profile demonstrates an urgent need to address racial health inequities. “Of all women diagnosed with HIV in the county last year, 90.9 percent were Black women, who only make up 19.2 percent of all women in the County. On World AIDS Day, in honor of all those we have lost to this 40-year-old pandemic, we cannot shy away from naming racism as the public health crisis it is.”

The public is invited to attend the event virtually, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Register for the free event at

There will also be a World AIDS Day vigil and open house at the Dennis Avenue Health Center (DAHC)  from 5 to 7 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to tour the HIV and STI clinics, meet clinic staff and community partners, get tested for HIV, view sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, and enjoy light refreshments. DAHC is located at 2000 Dennis Avenue in Silver Spring. Register for the vigil and open house at

The events are part of the County’s push to end its HIV epidemic by 2030. After being named a priority jurisdiction for the federal Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative. One year ago, the County released A Plan to End HIV in Montgomery County, which outlines strategies to reduce new HIV transmissions by 90 percent in 10 years.

To support Ending the HIV Epidemic efforts, Montgomery County residents are encouraged to:

  • Get tested for HIV, even if you do not think you are at risk.
  • Seek treatment for HIV if you test positive; with successful treatment, people living with HIV can live long, healthy lives and prevent transmission of HIV to others.
  • Ask your healthcare provider about Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, the HIV-prevention medication, to reduce risk of HIV.
  • Learn the facts about HIV and talk with partners, family, and friends about it.
  • Fight HIV stigma by showing support and compassion for people living with HIV.

County residents seeking free or low-cost HIV testing, treatment, or prevention should contact Montgomery County HIV Services at 240-777-1869.

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Release ID: 21-959
Media Contact: Emily Brown 240-773-1172
Categories: Health, Public Safety