Fairbanks recognizes, brings awarness to World AIDS Day

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - December 1 is 'World AIDS Day' with Saturday marking the 30th year of recognition. It's a day to bring awareness to the fight against AIDS, and show support for those in its grip.

The Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor Center hosted a day of remembrance, which featured guest speaker Aric Lane from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Lane spoke about the importance of knowing your status, saying it's the first step to living a healthy life with AIDS.

According to a report from 2017, 36.9 million people are currently living with HIV, and there were 1.8 million new infections in 2017.

Jeff Nielsen, with the Interior AIDS Association, talked about the services available locally to those living with HIV and AIDS. He also explained why it's important to recognize World AIDS Day.

"We provide medication assistance, a series of programs that range from medication assistance, housing assistance, nutrition assistance. We also provide opioid treatment programs, HIV testing. It's important because it creates awareness to the issue, you know, it is a good opportunity to bring providers and the community together to discuss topics that were brought up here today," said Nielsen.