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30 Years Into Epidemic, New Anti-AIDS Campaign Launched

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(AP)

(AP)

CBS SF Bay (con't)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — More than 600 people are infected annually with HIV in San Francisco, according to the Department of Public Health, and people fighting to stop the virus’s spread are reminding residents that AIDS is still a problem.

“People are still testing positive,” said Henry Lucero, co-chair of 30AIDS, a campaign beginning Thursday that aims to incite action in individuals after 30 years of AIDS being part of society.

>>CBS 5 Special Coverage: AIDS At 30 Years

The first case of the virus was reported on June 5, 1981.

On that day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a warning about a rare lung infection found in five previously healthy gay men in Los Angeles, according to Lucero and his campaign website, www.30aids.org.

“Here we are 30 years later. It’s still a problem. We still don’t have a cure,” he said.

But there still has been a steady decline of new cases of HIV, according to the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

In 2006, 975 new HIV infections were reported. The numbers declined in the following two years, down to a little more than 620 new cases in 2008, according to the Department of Public Health.

No statistics measuring cases from 2009 to 2011 were immediately available.

Lucero said the 30AIDS campaign asked people via a Thursday morning news conference, and through social networking and websites, to be mindful of HIV and do something—anything—to prevent it from spreading.

“The most simple method of prevention we know is to use a condom,” he said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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