Assemblymember Anthony Portantino and City of Hope
6th Annual “HIV/AIDS Action Summit”
California Assemblymember Anthony Portantino and City of Hope today brought together a wide range of experts and activists for the Sixth Annual HIV/AIDS Action Summit with special guest, Project Runway All-Star Mondo Guerra.
More than 300 high school and college students as well as community activists filled the auditorium at City of Hope as fashion designer and HIV activist Mondo Guerra told the dramatic disclosure of his HIV+ status. He recently partnered with Merck to launch a new HIV educational campaign: I Design and spoke about the reality of living with HIV.
For six years, Assemblymember Portantino and City of Hope have teamed up to bring the community into the discussion concerning the prevention, treatment and research on HIV and AIDS. Dr. Alexandra Levine, Chief Medical Officer at City of Hope, gave an update on the disease and Assemblymember Portantino took an HIV test to show the importance of getting tested.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), a person becomes infected with HIV every 9½ minutes. An estimated 1.1 million persons are living with the HIV infection, but about 20% of them don’t know it. Early detection of the virus is the most effective way to treat the illness, increase life expectancy, increase quality of life, and prevent the spread of HIV.
“I continue to be amazed at the interest in HIV and AIDS but also the stigma that continues to surround it,” said Assemblymember Portantino. “Through our Action Summit at City of Hope and efforts to make HIV testing become part of routine health screening, folks in the 44th Assembly District step up every year; confirming that this issue is important to all Californians. City of Hope is a great partner and Mondo Guerra is a terrific keynote speaker.”