Officials Release Startling Number of New Local HIV Cases
CHARLESTON, SC (ERICA LUNSFORD, WTAT-TV) — Know your status: that is the message from Lowcountry Aids Services who just released startling numbers for HIV cases in our area.
Seven in just one month. Lowcountry Aids Services says that is how many people tested positive for HIV in January, nearly half of 2017’s total of 20 cases.
“That’s a frightening number to consider when this is just the first of the year,” said Linda Hill, who is concerned about the new HIV statistics.
“Even more shocking is the fact that all of those individuals were under the age of 30,” said Adam Weaver, Prevention Program Manager at Lowcountry Aids Services.
Weaver says HIV might be something people don’t even think about, but they should.
“I think a lot of people think HIV is a thing of the past, when in reality, when we talk about then modern HIV epidemic, the south is really home to that epidemic,” he said. “We have less than a third of the U.S. population but account for over half of all new HIV infections.”
He went on to say “HIV is a reality here and our findings for the month of January, I think, are just more reflective of the reality that is here.”
Weaver said it is important to get tested and to know your status for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Lowcountry Aids Services makes it easy to do that. “At LAS, we test for HIV, which is done through a finger prick, and results are given in 10 minutes. We can test for hepatitis C, also a finger prick, and those results come back in 20 minutes. Then we can also test anyone for chlamydia and gonorrhea, and we can test gay and bisexual men for syphilis.”
The testing is free and the clinic accepts walk-ins Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
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