Local Advocates Are Working to Stem an Alarming Rate of New Hiv Infections in the South

November 28, 2017, 12:34 pm EST | Share:

CHARLESTON, SC (FOX 24 NEWS NOW) — A major sea-change has been happening in the HIV infection rate in the United States, in large part due to health campaigns and education outreach.

Between 2008 and 2014, the estimated number of annual HIV infections in the U.S. declined by 18-percent.

Meanwhile, in Europe, health officials say infections are increasing at an alarming rate.

We’re not out of the woods yet, which is why things like World Aids Day, happening this Friday, is so important to draw attention to a disease that affects 37-million people across the globe.

Education and prevention begins in our own backyard. “This year is our 25th year commemorating World Aids Day here in Charleston, so we wanted to commemorate that by adding a little something special, a community breakfast Friday morning,” said Kimberly Blaguer, chair for Charleston Area World Aids Day. “We are bringing Dr. Katie Richardson, our keynote speaker along with Mayor Tecklenburg and other community members who are going to sit down and have a conversation about HIV in the Lowcountry.”

Through this special day, leaders say they hope for a recommitment to continuing to fight HIV and aids here in the Lowcountry. “We hope to create dialogs between all of the many organizations and parts of the Lowcountry,” said Jason Kirk, director of development and marking for Lowcountry Aids Services. “To get people talking and see how we can work together, how can we do even more by not going our separate ways – but talking and working together along the way.”

The World AIDS Day Community Breakfast will be held at the Charleston Marriott on Friday, December 1st from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m.

For a list of other events or to learn more, please click here.