DC Takes on HIV/AIDS

Every year, the world joins together in support of those who are HIV/AIDS-positive, to commemorate those who have lost their lives, and to promote research and education efforts aimed at ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. World AIDS Day, celebrated on December 1st, has been an important world-wide event since its inception in 1988. This year, the theme for World AIDS Day is “Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation.”

The world has made great strides in preventing and treating HIV/AIDS, especially Washington, DC, but there is still a lot of work to be done. The DC Department of Health released a report in November which examined the effectiveness of three campaigns called DC Takes on HIV, Ask for the Test, and Rubber Revolution. The report used information from a study they conducted on 800 residents between 20 and 64 years of age. Here is what you need to know:

  • In 2012, roughly 2.7% of Washington, DC’s population was infected with HIV. Today, that number has dropped to 2.5%–still at epidemic levels.
  • 27% of survey respondents said they got tested as a result of this campaign and another 55% said they were considering getting tested.
  • The number of new AIDS cases declined by 35 percent between 2008 and 2012, from 567 cases to 370.
  • 28% of respondents said that what they learned from the campaign has inspired them to use condoms more frequently.

We should certainly be proud of these successes and take heed in the fact that we can make progress when we work together toward a common goal. However, we shouldn’t forget the need that still exists in light of our accomplishments.

DC’s rate of HIV-infection still meets the definition of a “severe epidemic” according to the World Health Organization and 1 in 5 people who are infected with HIV don’t know they have the disease. Additionally, youth aged 13 to 24 years comprise about 1 in 4 (26%) of all new infections. To learn more about how you can get tested, fight the stigma, or seek treatment, please visit the official DC Takes on HIV website.

To support Youth Haven, children who are affected by HIV/AIDS, and our local fight against stigma, visit our website to donate and learn how you can get involved.

Sources

http://dctakesonhiv.com/

http://magicjohnson.org/programs/hivaids-initiatives/

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2014/11/17/study-half-of-d-c-residents-say-theyve-learned-more-about-hiv-through-city-prevention-campaigns/

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