Twenty-five million people have died of AIDS worldwide since the
disease was first identified in 1981. Of those, 480 were Santa
Barbara residents. Each year for the past five years, between 10
and 30 county residents have been infected with HIV. Of those, 60
percent were white, 30 percent Latino, and two percent black; 87
percent were men. In commemoration of World AIDS Day on December 1,
the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reminds residents
that it offers multiple sites for free, anonymous HIV testing. For
more information, visit

A young woman who lay down in the street after a fight with her
boyfriend was run over and suffered severe abdominal injuries. The
19-year-old and her boyfriend had argued after returning to her
apartment from a Sunday night party. As he left with a friend who
had driven them home, she protested by lying in the intersection of
De la Vina and Pueblo streets. There is no description of the
vehicle that ran her over. She was discovered by a taxi driver
shortly after midnight.

The South Santa Barbara County Breast-feeding Coalition
completed a postcard campaign urging the federal government to
include less infant formula in food packets supplied to low-income
nursing mothers. The more formula nursing mothers receive, the more
likely they are to use it instead of breast milk, which has
numerous health benefits for infants, according to the coalition’s
Meg Beard. For the first time in 30 years, the federal government
is revising its nutritional recommendations for the Women, Infants,
and Children welfare packages.

Direct Relief International (DRI) earned a score of 100 percent
for its fundraising efficiency in Forbes magazine’s annual
assessment of the nation’s 200 largest charities. It is the fifth
year in a row that the Santa Barbara-based organization earned a
perfect score, reflecting the fact that it spends less than one
percent of its income on fundraising. This year, it shares the
honor with 16 other charities. In addition, DRI scored 99 percent
in the category of “charitable commitment,” which assesses the
portion of its budget going directly to the group’s charitable
purposes rather than salaries and other overhead. DRI distributes
medical supplies worldwide.


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