On World AIDS Day, Infections Remain a Challenge in Colorado

December 2010

There are at least 6,102 Coloradans living with HIV and at least another 4,511 living with AIDS. Among the organizations reaching out to them and others this World AIDS Day is Colorado State University's Department of International Education, which is providing free and confidential HIV testing with the help of the Northern Colorado AIDS Project, notes the Rocky Mountain Collegian.

More people than ever are living with HIV and AIDS thanks to advances in medicine, but that's meant less attention on the diseases. "With that lack of a crisis, there's a lot of complacency," Ruth Pederson, executive director of the Colorado AIDS Project, tells The Denver Post. Yet, the number of new HIV cases each year hasn't decreased for more than a decade in Colorado. "If the number of newly infected persons continues to stay where it is or rises, and we don't get new resources, it's likely we'll be in a situation where we can't provide medication to everybody who needs it," says Ralph Wilmoth, who heads the state health department's HIV section.

Meanwhile, local fashion designer and Project Runway runner-up Mondo Guerra is lending some celebrity to the cause, writes Latina magazine. The HIV-positive Denver native has designed two T-shirts (here and here) for Piperlime.com, and $20 from each sale ($50 per shirt) will go to amFAR Aids Research. Guerra will also speak at the United Nations today about his struggles with finding low-income treatment in Colorado.