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aids day

International AIDS day has local significance Since 1996, three men and one woman in the Sea to Sky Corridor have tested positive for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), which can develop into AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). Because many locals go to Vancouver to be tested, the Coast Garibaldi Community Health Services Society estimates that these four people are only the tip of the iceberg for the region. The majority were exposed to the virus through intravenous drug use. To raise awareness of the disease, its prevention and its treatments Dec. 1 was proclaimed by the World Health Organization as World AIDS Day, and the B.C. Ministry of Health has designated the week of Dec. 1-7 as AIDS Awareness Week. Although the number reported HIV cases across B.C. is receding, a recent survey of adolescents shows the need for continuing AIDS awareness programs: o While teens are waiting longer to have sex, only 52 per cent of women use condoms o About 6 per cent of sexually active youth on the coast have had a sexually transmitted disease.

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