Phoenix Mayor Stanton and Aunt Rita's Foundation Launch Statewide HIV Campaign

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| Source: Aunt Rita's Foundation
photo-release

Know Your Status – Get Tested for HIV

HIVAZ.ORG Arizona's First Comprehensive Online Database for All Things HIV

PHOENIX, Nov. 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aunt Rita's Foundation and Phoenix Mayor Stanton launch a statewide campaign that promotes HIV/AIDS awareness across Arizona through a banner campaign introducing HIVAZ.ORG, Arizona's first comprehensive online database for HIV testing and services. Banners hung throughout the state, to celebrate World Aids Day, December 1 and to remind all Arizonans that HIV/AIDS is still one of the largest epidemics in global history. The only way to stop it is to know your status and get tested. Phoenix Mayor Stanton unveiled a 20 foot X 40 foot banner that hangs from the side of Phoenix City Hall. www.hivaz.org or www.auntritas.org.

A photo accompanying this release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=22408

Over 280 banners, including civic locations in over 20 cities and every Walgreens statewide, hang across Arizona as the launch of ProjectHIVAZ, Aunt Rita's HIV education and awareness campaign introducing HIVAZ.ORG, Arizona's comprehensive online database of HIV testing locations and services.

"I am proud to be a part of the Aunt Rita's banner campaign" said the Honorable Greg Stanton, Mayor of Phoenix, Arizona. "My wife Nicole's brother died of AIDS. There is no shame in knowing your status. Knowing your status, whether positive or negative, is the only way we are going to stop the spread of this disease. In Arizona, 30-40% of the population do not know their status and over 4,000 people in Arizona are HIV+ and do not know it. This banner campaign and World AIDS Day are important as they remind all of us that HIV has not gone away. There is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve HIV/AIDS education across Arizona."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among the more than 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S., an estimated 1 in 5 of those do not know they are infected. Everyone ages 15-65 should get an HIV test.

"This campaign is a megaphone for the message that Aunt Rita's spreads everyday" said Aunt Rita's Foundation Executive Director, Kit Kloeckl. "The World Health Organization's 2013 theme for World AIDS Day is 'Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths.' We hope that these banners are a bold statement to all that live with HIV/AIDS that there is hope in education and to the Arizona community that HIV is still an epidemic and everyone needs to know their status and get tested."

Founded in 1987, Aunt Rita's Foundation, a 501 (c) 3, nonprofit agency that advocates HIV education and awareness and raises and equitably distributes funds to HIV/AIDS service organizations with programs to prevent HIV/AIDS or assist those living with the disease. Aunt Rita's primary fund-raiser is the AIDS Walk Phoenix & 5K Run in October.

SHERRY BUTLER
Sherry Butler Communications
602-703-3659