A FREE art exhibition to mark World Aids Day will take place at County Hall, in Durham, on December 1.

Staff from Derwentside and Durham and Chester-le-Street primary care trusts have invited young people in the area to supply pieces of art, such as sculptures, pictures and posters.

This year's theme for World Aids Day is Wise up, Wear it, Where's Yours?

There will be information to take away on issues relating to HIV and Aids, especially about how HIV is transmitted, how people can protect themselves and the services available for support, information and advice.

Kim McGarry, the trusts' health promotion specialist for young people, said: "We are using World Aids Day to promote awareness of HIV and Aids and to inform people about how Aids is acquired and how people can protect themselves.

"The earlier people are diagnosed with HIV, the greater chance they have of living a longer and healthier life.

"An awareness and knowledge about HIV also enables people to make informed choices about their sexual behaviour and practising safer sex, and safer drug use."

The show is also a competition and a digital camera will be awarded to the winning entry.

It is open to young people from the Derwentside, Durham and Chester-le-Street areas only.

Any organisations or young people wishing to take part in the exhibition will need to complete a submission reply slip by next Monday.

They are available from the specialist health promotion departments at both Derwentside and Durham and Chester-le-Street PCTs.

Participants can drop off their artwork at County Hall on Wednesday, November 30, from 4pm to 6pm. Artwork can be picked up after the event, on December 2.

To take part, call Kim McGarry on 0191-374 4131.