ASAP Hosts Prayer Luncheon Dec. 1

St. Petersburg, FL (November 18) ― When many think of HIV and AIDS, they think of a disease that doesn’t have much impact on their lives. However, according to data by the Florida Department of Health, Hillsborough County recorded a 63 percent increase in new HIV cases since 2012, and Pinellas County a 32 percent increase in the same period. The state of Florida had 5,821 new HIV infections in 2014, a 27 percent increase from 2012, and more recent data collected in 2015 show that the numbers continue to rise. World AIDS Day aims at bringing awareness to these issues while remembering those who have died.

The AIDS Service Association of Pinellas (ASAP), a member of Empath Health, is  hosting a Prayer Luncheon on World AIDS Day, Tuesday, December, 1 at 11:30 a.m. The luncheon takes place at the Empath Health Community Service Center: 3050 1st Ave. S,, St. Petersburg, FL 33712.

A complimentary lunch begins at 11:30 a.m. with the program beginning at noon. The program includes a time of remembrance with prayer and music, culminating with the moving tradition of the ringing the AIDS Memorial Bells. The luncheon concludes at 1 p.m.

“This year’s theme is ‘Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination, Zero AIDS related deaths’,” says William Harper, executive director of ASAP. “This event is especially important and timely to our community, as Florida has the highest number of new HIV/AIDS cases in the country. In fact, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties’ rates continue to rise every year.”

The luncheon is free and open to the public but it is requested that those who plan to attend RSVP by Wednesday, Nov. 25. Donations are appreciated, and donation envelopes will be provided at each table.

To join-in on this special occasion, RSVP by contacting David Maier at 727-328-3263 or by e-mail at Additional information about the event can be found at at the Facebook page event.

About ASAP

ASAP (AIDS Service Association of Pinellas, Inc.) is a nonprofit provider of medical case management, counseling and pharmacy services to Tampa Bay area residents with HIV. As a member of Empath Health, our focus is helping clients achieve treatment success so they can live a healthy life, providing support to caregivers and family members and educating the community on the prevention of HIV.

About Empath Health

Empath Health is a non-profit integrated network of care that provides expert, life-changing health care to those with chronic and advanced illnesses. Empath Health includes hospice, palliative home health and physician services, independent living assistance and day care for seniors, HIV services and advance care planning. Contact Empath Health at 727-467-7423 or