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By Rebecca Keister
PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE – A Rhode Island Statehouse event marking World AIDS Day will take place today from noon to 1:30 p.m. and being sponsored by the Rhode Island HIV Prevention Coalition, a group of 22 community-based organizations and other partners who support efforts to reduce HIV among high-risk groups that formed this past spring.
“The state house event represents an opportunity for the coalition and elected officials to renew attention to a public health problem that has been neglected for too long in Rhode Island,” said Thomas Bertand, executive director of AIDS Project Rhode Island, in a statement.
The R.I. Department of Health HIV/AIDS Epidemiological Profile reports that there were 106 new HIV infections reported in Rhode Island in 2010.
“Unfortunately, an increase in HIV infection for at-risk groups could occur in coming years, as government funding for primary HIV prevention to community groups evaporates in Rhode Island on Dec. 31, 2012,” Bertrand said.
AIDS Project Rhode Island, a division of Family Service Rhode Island, was founded around 30 years ago as a nonprofit to provide compassionate, non-judgmental and collaborative response to people infected, affected and at risk of HIV/AIDS.