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World AIDS Day: Methodist Le Bonheur Health Care provides resources for individuals living with HIV

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 4:21 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Today is World AIDS day and health leaders are bringing awareness to the virus that affects millions across the globe.

It has been 40 years since the first cases of HIV/AIDS were reported in the U.S.

Now according to HIV.gov approximately 1.2 million people in the U.S. have HIV.

Dana Moore has seen firsthand how Shelby County has been impacted.

Moore is the community programs manager for the community HIV network at Methodist Le Bonheur Health Care.

She says that in 2018 Memphis was ranked fourth in the nation for HIV diagnosis according to the Centers for disease control.

“And also, currently Shelby County is #1 in the state of Tennessee for new HIV diagnosis,” said Moore.

Moore says the first step in addressing the issue of HIV/AIDS is testing.

The CDC recommends everyone between the ages of 13 to 64 get tested at leas once.

“However, if you are at increased risk for HIV, if you have multiple sex partners, if you don’t know the sexual history of your sex partners, that means you may need to be tested often,” said Moore.

Methodist Le Bonheur’s Community HIV Network offers testing, medical care referrals, counseling and education. More information about the program is located here.

Scientific treatments have made it possible for individuals to live with HIV as well as ways to prevent transmission altogether by reducing a person’s viral load.

But Moore says there’s still work to be done.

“So as far as the science, yes, we’ve made significant improvements,” she said. “However, stigma is still perpetuated among the community, particularly in this area, and that really deters people from seeking help.”

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