Maine CDC Press Release

November 27, 2007

Web site Strengthens Resources For Those Living with HIV/AIDS in Maine

Media Contact:

Jamie Cotnoir
HIV Public Health Educator, Maine CDC
(207) 287-5539
Dora Anne Mills, MD, MPH
Maine CDC
(207) 287-3270

AUGUSTA - On December 1, those who are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS will receive worldwide attention, when the 19th annual World AIDS Day takes place. Established by the World Health Organization in 1988, World AIDS Day is designed to recognize and support those who are infected with or have been affected by HIV/AIDS.

With an estimated 38.6 million people worldwide living with HIV at the end of 2005 and more than 25 million people having died of AIDS since 1981, December 1 serves to remind everyone that action makes a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) is pleased to announce a new web site geared toward the more than 1,100 people in Maine who live with HIV today. PositiveME.org was recently launched and offers a new way of thinking about and addressing the health care needs of people living with HIV/AIDS in Maine.

PositiveME.org (www.positiveme.org) offers those living with HIV/AIDS a welcoming and anonymous place to gather information and determine the best ways to live healthily and confidently. The goal of those who produced the web site is to build confidence and reduce stigma through the use of technology.

“We live in such a technological era; people are always looking for ways to get reliable information quickly,” said Dr. Dora Anne Mills. “PositiveME.org is offering the HIV-positive community in Maine information that will add to the quality of their lives.”

This initiative began through the Maine CDC’s HIV Care Program. Its commitment to providing medication adherence education and support to all Mainers living with HIV led to the site’s development. PositiveME.org offers HIV-positive Mainers important resources to help address the physical and emotional challenges, an interactive calendar where visitors are invited to submit community events, and focuses on Maine residents who are low-income, uninsured, or underinsured, who may be isolated in rural communities.

"The goal of PositiveME.org is to create a comfortable environment and reconnect people who live with HIV/AIDS with the community that supports them,” said Dr. Mills.

PositiveME.org is funded through the Maine CDC, Department of Health and Human Services and the Ryan White Treatment Modernization Act, which was enacted by the United States Congress to improve the quality and availability of care for low-income, uninsured, and underinsured individuals and families affected by HIV disease.

Ryan White programs work with cities, counties, states, and local community-based organizations to provide services to more than 500,000 Americans each year who do not have sufficient health care coverage or financial resources for coping with HIV disease.

For more information on the Ryan White Treatment Modernization Act, visit http://hab.hrsa.gov/history.htm .