COVID-19 Increasing the Challenges Faced by Those Living With AIDS
World AIDS Day (WAD) is a time for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with the virus, and remember those who have died. The 2020 WAD theme, Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilience and Impact, is especially poignant this year as our HIV community has been newly challenged by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 has not only forced us to adapt our response to HIV/AIDS in communities to ensure continuity of services, but also reinforced the urgency of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S. and around the world.
Montgomery County Health Commissioner, Jeff Cooper states, “The key to ending HIV in our communities begins with eliminating stigma and discrimination, and making sure people have access to testing, treatment and prevention options. While testing and treatment are critical, we must also work to remove barriers that keep people from accessing these vital services.”
In 2019, there were approximately 38 million people across the globe with HIV/AIDS. Of these, 36.2 million were adults and 1.8 million were children. An estimated 1.7 million individuals worldwide acquired HIV in 2019, marking a 23% decline in new HIV infections since 2010.
In 2019, Montgomery County reported 1,568 persons living with diagnosed HIV infection and 778 living with a diagnosis of AIDS. African Americans continue to represent the highest number of HIV infections, especially men who have sex with men. Stigma and discrimination continue to be
barriers, and many people still do not have access to confidential HIV testing as well as other
The good news is community-based and self-testing have opened doors to helping people know their HIV status, and attention has been placed on the need for continued community support. Do you know your status? The CDC recommends the following:
- All adults and adolescents from ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least once for HIV.
- All pregnant women should be tested for HIV along with other sexually transmitted diseases.
- Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent HIV testing
(every 3 to 6 months).
- Anyone who has unsafe sex or shares injection drug equipment should get tested for HIV at least once a year.
For information about HIV testing, counseling, educational interventions, syringe exchange services, Prep and linkage to care, please call an HIV testing location nearest you from the list below:
Clark County Combined Health District
529 E Home Rd, Springfield, OH 45503
1222 S. Patterson Blvd Suite 230, Dayton, OH 45402
Family Health Services
5735 Meeker Rd, Greenville, OH 45331
Greene County Public Health
360 Wilson Dr. Xenia, OH 45385
Miami County Public Health Department
Reproductive Health Clinic
510 W. Water Street Troy, OH 45373
Preble County General Health District
Reproductive Health Clinic
615 Hillcrest Drive Eaton, OH 45320
Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County
Public Health Clinic
117 S. Main Street
Dayton, OH 45422
Public Health Outreach Office
201 Riverside Drive, Suite 1-C
Dayton, OH 45405
Dr. Charles R, Drew Health Center
1323 W. Third Street, Room # 608
Dayton, OH 45402
For more testing sites near you, call 800-CDC-INFO (232-4636) or visit https://gettested.cdc.gov