The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) says Sesame Street Muppets Elmo and Raya are taking on the Zika virus by helping to raise awareness and share critical information to reduce the spread of the disease. On Mar. 23, PAHO said the virus had been reported in 33 countries and territories of the Americas, including the Caribbean.

FIU has received an endowment to establish a pre-eminent program to develop strategies for preventing and treating obesity, diabetes, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS, which are prevalent in South Florida and the Caribbean. The program, dubbed the FIU Health Disparities Initiative, is funded by a $9.5 million National Institute of Health’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities grant.

In a move to enhance efforts at preventing substance abuse, County Commissioners adopted a resolution sponsored by Commissioner Sosa, urging Congress to pass Senate Bill 524 or similar legislation. Substance abuse is a growing concern in Miami-Dade County, with heroin-related deaths steadily on the rise since 2011. Commissioner Sosa authored legislation supporting Senate Bill 524 (SB 524), entitled the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act of 2015.

New Law Will Create State's First Syringe Access Programs. 

Harm Reduction Gone Mainstream: Florida Follows in Steps of Kentucky, Indiana and Republican-Led Congress in Passing Syringe Access Reforms Today, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed the IDEA Act ("Miami-Dade Infectious Disease Elimination Act"), after it passed the Florida House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support. Florida leads the nation in new HIV cases, while Miami-Dade and neighboring Broward are #1 and #2 in the nation, respectively, for the rate of new HIV infections per 100,000 residents.

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