The CDC is not mincing words. Atlanta’s high rate of HIV infections has long been compared to that of third-world countries, but now the Center For Disease Control admits that it’s officially an epidemic.
According to a report by WSB-TV Atlanta, Georgia’s risk of diagnosis is 1 in every 51 people. But if you live in metro Atlanta, AIDS research officials say that the number of people infected is even more staggering.
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“Downtown Atlanta is as bad as Zimbabwe or Harare or Durban,” Dr. Carlos del Rio, co-director of Emory University’s Center for AIDS Research told WSB-TV reporters.
Among those most impacted by the epidemic are African American men and women, with African American teens and young people ranking high among those with the greatest risk.
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In the report, the CDC attributes some of the fault to a lack of leadership and management in the city’s most populous county, and limited access to healthcare for its residents. Currently, there are more than 35,000 people living with HIV in Atlanta, Georgia.
Those working to curb the epidemic have turned to educating ATLiens on the benefits of PrEP, and encouraging them to take the increasingly popular drug. For those who do not have HIV, the medication helps to lower their risk of getting infected.
Just last month, Morehouse College’s Student Health Center started offering the preventative to interested students.
After all, it’s like Common said, “Knowing is beautiful.”
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