World AIDS Day 2007 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

World AIDS Day 2007

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RICHLAND, Wash.--For more than a decade December 1st. has been designated as World AIDS Day. 

A day to remember the importance of a disease facing nearly one million people in the United States. Benton-Franklin County reports close to 200 people living with virus. Fifteen cases reported this year alone.

Many local organizations are raising awareness about HIV/AIDS. One of these is the Richland School District. They want to make sure young people stay informed.

"We're interested in kids having accurate information and being able to make decisions," said Doug Gall, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning for the Richland School District.

Another group with a slightly different approach is Planned Parenthood. The agency offered free HIV testing Friday, hoping to spread a message of prevention.

Their goal is not only to keep young people educated, but also tested.

"More than fifty percent of HIV infections are occurring in people under the age of twenty five, and these are the people that we're not reaching in schools with abstinence sort of education," said Brian Griffith, Public Affairs Field Organizer for Planned Parenthood.

Both organizations plan to continue programs of education, to stress methods of AIDS prevention.