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World Aids Day

With the theme "Women, girls, and HIV, December 1st was a time to remember the 3 million people lost this year to AIDS,and to work to raise awareness about the nearly 38 million adults and children living with HIV. Mike Smith has the story:

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in the U.S., up to 950,000 Americans have HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS.

That same study says that in 2002, Missouri had more than 10,000 residents infected wwith HIV and or AIDS, and 10 percent of those cases were women. In Greene County at the end of 2003, 171 persons were HIV positive while 326 individuals had AIDS.

Clay Goddard, the Administrator of Community Health with the Springfield/Greene County Department of Health, says persons infected with HIV or AIDS are living longer because of improved treatment programs.

Jason Allen is a case manager with the AIDS Project of the Ozarks. He says this year's World Aids Day highlights the biological, social, and economis differences between men and women that make women morre vulnerable to HIV and AIDS. Allen says the AIDS Project of the Ozarks serves 29 counties in S.W. Missouri, and if anyone would like to volunteer time or recources to help fund some of the many programs ofered by APO,

call 417-881-1900. APO is located at 1901 E. Bennett, suite D, and is open from 9-5 Monday through Friday.

For KSMU News, I'm Mike Smith.