Welcome to the State of California 


Date: 11/26/2008 

Number: 08-58 

Contact: Suanne Buggy or Ken August, (916) 440-7259 


Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), is urging all Californians to observe World AIDS Day, December 1, 2008, by expanding and strengthen their efforts to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.

“People with HIV are living longer, healthier lives, and advances in treatments have made living with HIV a more manageable disease for many.  But we must not become complacent,” Horton said. “We must continue our efforts to prevent HIV/AIDS and identify infected people as early as possible to help them gain access to life-saving drugs and educate them to prevent further transmission of HIV.”

The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS designated Dec. 1 as World AIDS Day to unite worldwide efforts to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.  This year’s continuing theme is “Leadership: Stop AIDS Keep the Promise.”  It encourages individuals at every level of government and in every sector of society - communities, schools, worksites, homes - to take the lead and respond to the epidemic. 

Based on national and state estimates, between 132,000 and 170,000 people are currently living with HIV or AIDS in California and approximately 5,000 – 7,000 new infections are occurring annually. It is estimated that between 31,000 to 46,000 Californians have HIV but are unaware of it.

As of October 31, 2008, California’s total reported HIV/AIDS cases were over 184,000.  Of that total, nearly 87,000 have died.  The number of new HIV and AIDS cases has risen disproportionately among people of color and women.  African Americans represent less than seven percent of the state’s population, but comprise 18 percent of HIV/AIDS cases.  Latinos have comprised 35 percent of the state’s population since 2005 and more than 35 percent of AIDS cases diagnosed since 2000.

Through the CDPH Office of AIDS, the state provides resources for HIV and AIDS prevention, care, and treatment.  Among the many services provided are more than 130,000 HIV tests performed annually at publicly funded clinics (including HIV rapid tests available in approximately 55 local health jurisdictions) and services to 32,000 HIV-positive Californians who benefit from one of the largest and most comprehensive AIDS Drug Assistance Programs in the nation.  CDPH partners with local health departments, community organizations and universities to provide resources for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.

Additional information on World AIDS Day is available from the State Office of AIDS at http://cdphinternet/programs/aids/Pages/OAWAD.aspx

Last modified on: 6/8/2009 12:01 PM