D.C. has made vital progress within the struggle in opposition to HIV, however a variety of challenges stay, consultants and a brand new report say.
With a lot consideration on COVID-19, it’s straightforward to overlook that we nonetheless face different epidemics. District residents are nonetheless getting contaminated with HIV, and a few aren’t taking medicine that may hold the virus that causes AIDS from spreading.
The pandemic is partly guilty and has slowed the District’s efforts to finish the HIV epidemic by maintaining some individuals from getting examined or looking for remedy.
“D.C. has really turned the corner on HIV, but that doesn’t mean it’s over. We still have a lot of work to do,” mentioned Carl Schmid, govt director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute, which is predicated within the District.
HIV instances have dropped dramatically in D.C. since their peak in 2007. But practically 1 in 5 new infections occurred in individuals age 13 to 24, a brand new report from DC Health says. Many of these younger individuals weren’t on medicine that may assist the virus from spreading to others.
Treatments are simpler than they was once.
“Now we have long-acting injectables. Instead of taking a pill every day, you could get an injection once every two months,” Schmid defined.
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, additionally known as PrEP, is medicine that can be utilized for HIV remedy and prevention. Experts say it’s important to ending the epidemic and serving to these contaminated reside wholesome lives.
It all begins with schooling, Schmid mentioned.
“It’s important for religious organizations, community groups, campaigns on buses and in the classrooms as well, to talk about sex, sex education, in ways people can take steps to protect themselves,” he mentioned.
Almost 2% of D.C. residents live with HIV. Black and Latino residents face larger an infection charges. Nationally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 150,000 Americans are HIV-positive however don’t know as a result of they haven’t been examined.
The stigma nonetheless linked to the virus additionally retains some individuals from looking for remedy.
Here’s How to Get HIV-Prevention Drugs within the DC Area
Go right here to be taught extra about learn how to get Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) within the D.C. space, even for those who don’t have insurance coverage.
Go right here to dig in to DC Health’s newest report on the native struggle in opposition to HIV.
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