AIDS Awareness Day draws crowd to Capitol

HARTFORD, Conn.(WTNH)– The 14th annual AIDS Awareness Day was held at the state capitol.Nationally, someone is infected with HIV every 9 and a half minutes. And it’s estimated 25 percent of them don’t even know it.

Living with HIV/Aids does not discriminate. A reality check from those attending this AIDS Awareness Rally on the steps of the capital building in Hartford.

“We want to make sure that you stay healthy, we want to make sure our friends stay healthy, we want to make sure that people get the treatment they need,” said Nancy Wyman, (D) Lt. Governor.

No longer in the headlines, it’s up to people like Anna Russi to carry on the fight against HIV/AIDS.

“I didn’t have a choice, I was born this way,” said Russi.”Everyone who has a choice should really value it and take it into consideration that their life is in their own hands and no one can love you as much as you can love yourself.”

Energized by straight talk…

“Listen for things beyond sort of what’s happening with HIV services or not, or what’s happening with housing or not or what’s happening with recovery services or not,” said Kevin Lembo, (D) State Comptroller.

Organizers say they’re not letting up.

“AIDS is kinda in the back burner and this is a way to bring it to the front burner,” said Shawn Lang, AIDS Connecticut.”Hopefully the economy will rebound and maybe we can put a little more funding into things like housing and prevention and health care as we look forward to the future.”

Keeping it in the forefront, activists and supporters  are lobbying state legislators, ensuring their voices are indeed heard. With no cure for HIV/AIDS and with an estimated 20,000 in Connecticut infected, education and awareness are key.

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