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Media Outreach Guide: Sample Press Release

December 1, 1999

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 twelfth annual World AIDS Day will be observed around the world and in [your town] on Dec. 1, 1999.  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.]

This year's World AIDS Day theme is "AIDS -- End the Silence. Listen, Learn, Live!"  The purpose of this theme is to promote communication with those who are affected -- directly and indirectly -- by HIV/AIDS.  World AIDS Day aims to increase awareness of the magnitude of the HIV/AIDS epidemic globally and in the US despite new hope in treatment. Ending the silence about HIV/AIDS will stimulate the development of new programs for young people to minimize their vulnerability to HIV and reduce the stigma and discrimination surrounding the epidemic.

As of 1999, 33.4 million men, women and children worldwide were estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS. If current trends continue, nearly 40 million adults will be infected with HIV by the year 2000.  In 1998, nearly 3 million children and young people became infected with HIV -- about 590,000 children under 15 and more than 2.5 million 15-24 year olds. In the United States, 688,200 people had been reported infected with HIV/AIDS as of 1998.

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. (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 epidemic.  In the United States, activities for World AIDS Day around the country are 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 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Insert descriptions of other World AIDS Day activities that are 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).

Program in Action: World AIDS Day PSA Roadblock

Through the efforts of the cable television industry's HIV/AIDS awareness organization -- Cable Positive -- cable programmers and operators once again will marshal their collective resources on World AIDS Day, Wednesday, December 1. Cable networks and systems will "roadblock" a single public service announcement (PSA) at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT in an effort to deliver a World AIDS Day message to television viewers across the country. The industry's commitment to HIV/AIDS awareness has been growing steadily:  More than 620 networks, systems and related companies participated in World AIDS Day 1998. For more information on the cable industry's World AIDS Day activities, contact Cable Positive at (212) 852-5190, or visit their website at

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This article was provided by American Association for World Health. It is a part of the publication Be a Force for Change.
See Also
World AIDS Day Planning