Delaware and the World Observe World AIDS Day Dec. 1

Delaware’s Division of Public Health – For Immediate Release

Reporters’ contact: 302-744-4704

One Of The Most Destructive Pandemics In History Is Still A Fight In Progress

Despite progress, HIV/AIDS remains one of the most frightening yet preventable diseases of our time, killing over 25 million people worldwide from 1981 to 2007 and identifying itself as one of the most destructive pandemics in history. Delaware’s Division of Public Health (DPH) asks all Delawareans to unite in the fight against this disease and, as part of the world community, observe the 24th annual World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.

“World AIDS Day marks an opportunity to educate Delawareans on preventing this devastating disease and the community resources available to help,” said Gov. Jack Markell. “With partners in our communities, we will continue to work every day to prevent more Delawareans from being infected with HIV/AIDS, and to treat those with the disease with the utmost care and compassion.”

Delaware has more than 3,600 people battling this disease—two-thirds who are African Americans. Long-term and steady efforts by DPH and its partners continue to educate, treat and prevent HIV/AIDS. However, new cases among young homosexual and bisexual men ages 15-29 are rising, from 15 cases in 2001 to 31 in 2010.

“Now more than ever it is important that people get tested if they are at risk of being infected,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director. “This is because people who test positive can be treated and treatment is prevention. The drugs that are available today often reduce the levels of virus in the blood to such low levels that they are unlikely to infect others.”

For those coping with HIV/AIDS, there is hope. New studies are encouraging, showing that proper treatment of HIV/AIDS can not only extend the healthy life of those with HIV, but can also greatly decrease the chances of transmission. If you have HIV and are not getting treatment, please call the Delaware HIV Consortium at 302-654-5471. There is no waiting list for treatment in Delaware! Go to www.hivtest.org to find a testing center near you and a counselor that can help you figure out which safer practices are best for you.

World Aids Day events scheduled statewide include:

NEW CASTLE COUNTY
Dec. 1
7 p.m.
AIDS Delaware Opera Delaware
4 South Poplar St.
Wilmington, DE 19801
Sponsoring a cabaret that celebrates life through music. Contact: Michelle (302) 652-6776
Dec. 1
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  
Beautiful Gate Outreach Center 604 N. Walnut St.
Wilmington, DE 19801

 

“A Healthier Community Starts With You – Get Tested!” Free, rapid HIV antibody testing with same day results from

9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Valid photo ID required. Free blood pressure and glucose screening also offered. Assistance to access medical care and other supportive services also available to those living with HIV.

Contact: Suzanne Tait (302) 472-3002

Website at: www.Bgate.org / Email: Bgate411@aol.com

Dec. 1
5 – 8 p.m.
Latin American Community Center Waterfall Banquet and Conference Center 3416 Philadelphia Pike
Claymont, DE 19703
“Entre Nos…Religion, Sexual Morality and HIV” Speaker will address how religious beliefs and relationship dynamics can influence HIV infection. Personal testimony will be made by an individual affected and infected with HIV/AIDS.

Contact: Marco Ramos (302) 655-7338 ext. 7721

KENT COUNTY
Dec. 1
6 p.m.  
Kent/Sussex Counseling Services John Wesley Church
217 W. Division St.
Dover, DE 19904
Guest speaker, reading of the names of those who have passed, and music soloist. Refreshments served after the event. Contact: Constance Johnson (302) 382-7284

 

SUSSEX COUNTY
Dec. 1
4:30 p.m.
CAMP Rehoboth 37 Baltimore Ave.
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
“Service of Remembrance and Hope” Begins at Camp Rehoboth with a reception for the World AIDS Day Art Exhibit. Afterward, there will be a gathering for a candlelight walk leading to All Saint’s Church on Olive Avenue for a remembrance service and light supper at 7:45 p.m.

Contact: (302) 227-5620

Dec. 1
12 p.m. – 6 p.m.  
La Red Health Center The Circle
Georgetown, DE 19947
Information on HIV/STDs  At 5-5:30 p.m. there will be a moment of remembrance along with lighting of the candles and reading of the names of those who have passed. Light refreshments.

Contact: Angel Rivera (302) 236-0514

Dec. 1
6 p.m.  
Kent/Sussex Counseling Services Grace Tabernacle of Deliverance Church
136 Brooklyn Ave.
Laurel, DE 19956
Candlelight vigil including a guest speaker, praise team performance, and reading of the names of those who have passed. Refreshments served after the event. Contact: Haley Truitt (302) 387-5495

 

 

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.


Sussex Outdoors Summit kicks off campaign to champion outdoor, family-friendly activity

LAUREL – Governor Jack Markell and other state and local officials announced their visions and support for “Sussex Outdoors,” a southern Delaware initiative that seeks to get families and children outdoors for physical activity and to create healthy lifestyles, at a summit on Thursday at Trapp Pond State Park. Attendees heard from national experts, state leaders, and outdoors and health organizations about strategies and opportunities for encouraging families to be more active outdoors.

Governor Markell, a nationally-recognized speaker on the importance of outdoor activity and honorary chair of Sussex Outdoors, announced his vision for a proposed trails and pathways plan to be developed through a collaborative effort of two state agencies, DNREC and DelDOT.

“These proposed projects will expand trail networks or begin trail networks, inside and outside of state parks in all three counties,” said Governor Markell. “They will help us realize a truly walkable, bikeable Delaware that all Delawareans can use and enjoy. Our continued commitment to invest in outdoor opportunities, both financially and through the efforts of community/government partnerships such as ‘Sussex Outdoors,’ will help us ensure the quality of life Delawareans deserve. By working together, we improve the health and wellbeing of our state’s children and stimulate job growth through investment in infrastructure at the same time.”

John Hollis, Sussex County Manager of Nemours Health and Prevention Services, one of the sponsors of the event, challenged summit attendees: “Sussex County has been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control as one of 40 communities nationally that will focus on the lifestyle changes that will be healthier both physically and emotionally.”

Other sponsors of the summit were the Sussex County Council, Sussex County Health Promotion Coalition, Sanofi Aventis, and Bike Delaware. “Sussex Outdoors” is a partnership of DNREC Sussex County Council, Sussex Child Health Promotion Coalition, and Nemours Health and Prevention Services.

In addition to DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara, state Agriculture Secretary Ed Kee and DHSS Secretary Rita Landgraf, speakers promoting outdoor physical activity included Mark Fenton, one of the nation’s foremost experts on walking and host of the new PBS series, America’s Walking; Rich Killingsworth, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer for the National Foundation on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, and innovator of the Active Living by Design program.

All speakers emphasized the connection between sedentary lifestyles and poor health, and contrasted that with the link between physical activity and good health.

Attendees participated in workshops that included such topics as an overview of Sussex trails and current opportunities presented by Delaware State Parks, Sussex Master Planning and the Sussex Land Trust.

Keynote speakers issued a call of action challenging each leader to encourage active outdoor activity wherever and with whomever they may come in contact with. “We passed along to everyone the importance of engaging in active outside activity, wherever that may be,” Hollis continued. “We want this call to action to go viral at the community and state level for everyone to get out and enjoy the outdoors.”


DPH Awarded $506,000 To Prevent Chronic Disease

Delaware was awarded a $506,000 three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help prevent chronic diseases and promote health.

The state Division of Public Health (DPH) will use the funds for programs to reduce diabetes, heart disease and chronic disease risk factors. Funded by the Affordable Care Act, the grant is part of approximately $40 million provided nationwide. Chronic diseases are responsible for 7 out of 10 deaths among Americans each year, according to HHS, and they account for nearly three-fourths of the more than $2.5 trillion our nation spends annually on medical care.

“Many chronic diseases are preventable. We want to be doing everything we can to help Delawareans lead healthier lives,” said Governor Jack Markell. “Wellness makes for a better quality of life, a stronger workforce, and it lowers health care costs.”

DPH’s grant will provide expansion of the Stanford Universities Diabetes Self-Management and Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs. A third community evidence-based program will focus on the primary prevention of chronic disease such as diabetes and heart disease . Other interventions include the creation of a chronic disease and health promotion advocate program and social marketing to the public and health care providers to increase awareness about chronic diseases and their risk factors.

“Many chronic diseases share risk factors and can be addressed by the same strategies and lifestyle changes,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director. “Helping Delawareans so they can eat healthy, be physically active and obtain health screenings will prevent disease and death and reduce health care costs.”


Delaware Bans Dangerous Drugs Known As “Bath Salts”

Gov. Markell SpeaksGovernor Jack Markell announced at a news conference today that Delaware has banned the dangerous stimulants commonly known “bath salts” now making them illegal in Delaware.

Early this afternoon, Secretary of State Jeff Bullock signed an “emergency rule” adding the compound of drugs known as “bath salts” to Delaware’s Schedule I of Controlled substances, following a recommendation by the Controlled Substances Advisory Committee. The order will be in effect for 120 days, with a 60-day extension possible. That gives the Delaware General Assembly, which re-convenes in January 2012, enough time to pass legislation banning the drugs permanently.

Today’s action empowers state law enforcement agencies to treat bath salts the same as other harmful illegal drugs, which means those who possess and, more importantly, those who sell bath salts will now face criminal penalties.

“These are not what people traditionally think of as bath salts that are added to a bath. This is a new designer drug sold in small vials or tins. People are getting sick, suicidal and very, very violent. These drugs are nasty and dangerous,” said the Governor. “If you know someone who has been abusing ‘bath salts,’ get them help,” said Governor Markell. “If you have the drug in your home or business, take it to the nearest Delaware State Police Troop and turn it in.”

Sec. of State Bullock Speaks“We are taking the unprecedented action of banning these drugs using a little known, but very powerful law, to immediately make them illegal to sell or possess,” said Secretary Bullock. “It’s an action we shouldn’t take lightly, but given the growing danger these drugs pose to our community, it is an action we need to take without delay.”

The Delaware Attorney General’s Office says two drug-related crimes are now applicable for bath salts: (Simple) Possession, which is a Misdemeanor level crime and Possession with the Intent to Distribute, which is a Felony level crime. The baseline Possession with the Intent to Distribute charge carries a sentencing range of 0-8 years in prison, and the seriousness of the charge and the corresponding sentencing range increases when aggravating factors are present such as prior offenses, resisting arrest, or committing a drug crime near a school or park – in certain cases this charge can carry minimum mandatory jail time.

“We’re working collaboratively with our law enforcement partners to quickly develop a game plan to enforce this ban and take specific action to ensure that these dangerous drugs are kept off the streets,” said Brian Robertson, Deputy Attorney General.

Sen. Bethany Hall-Long, D-Middletown is currently developing legislation that will be introduced when the General Assembly returns in January.

“This designer drug became an issue in my district and I’ve been working with various stakeholders to develop legislation allowing us to make bath salts controlled substance as well as working with families on finding treatment options,” Hall-Long said. ”As a nurse I am all too aware of the negative consequence this has on our public’s health and the injuries to patients who have used bath salts as well as their violent acts against nurses, police and other first responders”.

An emergency room nurse at Christiana Hospital, Rep. Rebecca Walker has seen the effects bath salts have had on people and is working with the Attorney General’s office to draft legislation permanently banning the substance.

“This phenomenon has popped up in the last few months and now it’s become a daily problem in all three counties,” said Rep. Walker, D-Middletown. “People have presented to all the emergency departments in the state under the influence of these bath salts and are so out-of-control and violent that they’ve injured nurses and EMS providers, making it difficult to provide the necessary treatment. My biggest concern is for members of the community who may be violently attacked. We can’t wait until January to address this. Banning this substance is the right thing to do, and I’m grateful to everyone for taking action today.”

Marketed under names such as “Ivory Wave”, “Purple Wave”, “Vanilla Sky” or “Bliss”, these products are comprised of a class of chemicals which can mimic the effects of cocaine, LSD, MDMA and/or methamphetamine. The chemicals used to produce “bath salts” – mephedrone, methylone, and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) –have a high potential for abuse. The Federal Food and Drug Administration has not approved these chemicals for human consumption or for any medical use, and there is no oversight of their manufacture.

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Delaware Moves To Ban Dangerous Drugs Commonly Known As “Bath Salts”

DOVER – Governor Jack Markell announced today the state will be moving to ban the dangerous stimulants commonly known “bath salts” to make them illegal in Delaware as soon as tomorrow.

The Controlled Substances Advisory Committee will hold an emergency meeting Friday, September 30, at the request of the Secretary of State, who seeks to exercise his authority to issue an immediate ban on the drugs. Title 16, Section 4713, states the Secretary of State shall place a substance in Schedule I if that substance has high potential for abuse and has no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or lacks accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision.

Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock will be taking an unprecedented step to immediately ban these substances for presenting a clear danger to the public. He plans to exercise his emergency authority to ban three synthetic chemical compounds used to produce “bath salts.” Marketed under names such as “Ivory Wave”, “Purple Wave”, “Vanilla Sky” or “Bliss”, these products are comprised of a class of chemicals which can mimic the effects of cocaine, LSD, MDMA and/or methamphetamine.

“We have every reason to make these drugs illegal,” said Governor Jack Markell. “These drugs present a danger to public safety. They have no legitimate use and can cause incredible damage to the lives of the user and those around the user. Criminalizing the sale and possession of these designer drugs will hopefully reverse their rising popularity and get them out of the hands of potential abusers.”

This action will empower state law enforcement agencies to treat bath salts the same as other harmful illegal drugs, which means those who possess and, more importantly, those who sell bath salts will now face criminal penalties.

“Getting these dangerous substances out of stores and off the streets will make Delaware a safer place,” said Attorney General Beau Biden. “Bath salts are dangerous drugs that have no place in our communities.”

Bath salts have become increasingly popular, particularly among teens and young adults, and are sold at places like tobacco shops, gas stations and head shops. The drug can also be bought on the internet. The federal Food and Drug Administration has not approved these chemicals for human consumption or for medical use, and there is no oversight of their manufacture.

Recently discovered data on three of the chemicals used to produce “bath salts” – mephedrone, methylone, and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) – demonstrate that they have a high potential for abuse and currently have no accepted medical use in the United States.

Often smoked, snorted or injected, bath salts can cause impaired perception, hallucinations, reduced motor control, chest pains, disorientation, extreme paranoia, agitation, and violent episodes. They are also believed to have led to numerous suicides.

The Controlled Substances Advisory Committee meeting will take place at 1 p.m. at the Carvel State Office Building, Wilmington, 10th floor. Following the meeting, a news conference will be held at 2:00 p.m. in the Governor’s Office, 12th floor, with the Governor, Secretary of State, and Attorney General Beau Biden.