Atlanta, Georgia is ranked the top city for new diagnoses of HIV/AIDS. Experts believe that the main reason for the is that there are not enough tests being offered. By the time patients get tests done, the virus has already rapidly advanced to AIDS. Dr. Abigail Hankin Wei, who runs the FOCUS HIV test program at Grady Hospital, says that at least two to three patients are diagnosed with HIV every single day.
Hankin-Wei continues to say that even after the patients are diagnosed with HIV, they don’t get help for almost a decade.
When we diagnose patients with HIV, the first time we are telling them they’ve been infected with HIV, we know that among our patients at Grady, nearly half of them have AIDS the day we diagnose them.
Despite the alarming numbers of HIV/AIDS cases, there still seems to be a lack of education on how the virus is contracted. Dazon Dixon Diallo, who runs Sister Love–a community based AIDS treatment and advocacy group in Atlanta–doesn’t understand how there continues to be a lack of help in that area.
It’s not acceptable to have a zero line item for HIV prevention … It’s unacceptable to not have expanded Medicaid to include HIV testing. It’s not acceptable to have any health department in the state of Georgia that’s currently not trained, equipped and implementing rapid testing … You want me to go on? It’s just a lot.
-Ballah-moni Kollie (@Gottadream87)
photo credit: sexualhealthmen.com