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What We Can Do: Media Outreach -- Sample Press Release

December 1, 2001

A press release should appear on your organization's letterhead and include the words "Press Release" on the top as well as a contact person's name and telephone number and the release date.

[Your Community] to Observe World AIDS Day

The fourteenth annual World AIDS Day will be observed around the world and in [your town] on Dec. 1, 2001. Locally, the events for World AIDS Day will take place [location, time] as coordinated by [name of your organization]. [Insert description of your organization's event or activities.]

World AIDS Day aims to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS both globally and in the US. This year's World AIDS Day theme is I Care . . . Do You? Youth and AIDS in the 21st Century. A focus on youth is vital, because half of the people newly infected with HIV in the US are under age 25. This year's theme encourages all young people to become more aware of the risks of HIV/AIDS for themselves, their partners, and their children. Empowering young people to use their influence on their families, friends, and communities taps a powerful force in helping to stem the tide of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Because of the magnitude of the pandemic, the US has declared AIDS a national security threat. As of 2000, 36.1 million men, women, and children worldwide are estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS, and 21.8 million have died from AIDS. Approximately 1 in every 100 adults worldwide is infected with HIV. In the US alone, 800,000-900,000 people are now living with HIV or AIDS, and 40,000 are newly infected each year. All communities are affected by the continuing spread of AIDS. Here, in [name of community], according to [source of statistics, such as local or state health department or the CDC or UNAIDS], as of [date], [number] people have been diagnosed and reported with AIDS, [number] of which have died. [Also include other local statistics such as gender, age or ethnicity-specific data.]

World AIDS Day will link communities throughout the United States in a unified observance when the White House dims its lights on the evening of December 1. This visual demonstration will signify the commitment to fight the AIDS global epidemic and will give tribute to people living with HIV/AIDS and to those who have died from AIDS. Here in [name of community], the memorial will be observed by [description of how the activity will be carried out].

One hundred ninety-one countries around the world are observing this day to draw attention to the AIDS pandemic. In the United States, World AIDS Day is coordinated by the American Association for World Health, in conjunction with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Pan American Health Organization, and the US Department of Health and Human Services.

[Insert descriptions of other World AIDS Day activities planned for your area, as well as the organizing groups.] For additional information on these World AIDS Day activities, contact [name of contact] at [telephone number].

This article was provided by American Association for World Health. It is a part of the publication I Care ... Do You? Youth and AIDS in the 21st Century. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:

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