“We noticed that the people who were at highest risk were not as aware of PrEP,” said Greg Seaney-Ariano, of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. In the last five years alone, there has been a 17% increase in Latinos with HIV diagnoses, according to the department.
By Miguel Martinez-Valle and Eddi Cabrera Blanco
(Auto-translate from Spanish)
“It is alarming that most people are not aware of getting tested for HIV and being treated for HIV,” said Maria Seno, supervisor of the AIDS Activity Coordinating Office (AACO) education program. , a division of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health whose focus is AIDS prevention and help for people living with the disease.
Lack of knowledge has resulted in a 17 percent increase in the number of Latinos diagnosed with the virus in the last 5 years.
The frequency of HIV in the Latino community is 10 times higher than that of the general population in Philadelphia. Two out of 10 people diagnosed in 2017 were Latinos.
“What is alarming is the fact that we have the treatment, we have the knowledge to not only protect individuals who do not have HIV but also prolong life and quality of life for those who are living with HIV,” said Seno.
By Miguel Martinez-Valle and Rudy Chinchilla
As the percentage of HIV positive people in Philadelphia’s Latinx community increases, community members are working to stop the stigma around HIV and promote safe practices and free testing.
By Miguel Martinez-Valle
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control, CVS Pharmacy, and a host of local organizations will be holding free, confidential HIV testing clinics at the CVS on Broad and Girard Streets. National HIV Testing Day is Thursday, June 27. This annual event encourages people to get tested for HIV, to know their HIV status, and to start HIV treatment right away if they have HIV.
Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health is offering free HIV tests this week.
The free, confidential testing clinics will be offered at the CVS on the corner of Broad Street and Girard Avenue in North Philadelphia.
This is at least the 10th year that the Philadelphia Department of Public Health is sponsoring the Trans Wellness Conference, said Coleman Terrell, director of the agency’s AIDS Activities Coordinating Office.
PDPH contributed a grant of $25,000, which Terrell said symbolizes the department’s commitment to “providing competent and affirming services to people of transgender experiences.”
By Josh Middleton
Others in the HIV prevention field agreed that if you can get past the logistical obstacles, the ER offers a great opportunity to start people on PrEP.
“I think you capture a population that may not be accessing medical care elsewhere that may be using emergency rooms as their primary-care providers” said Erika Aaron, the PrEP clinical adviser for Philadelphia’s Aids Activities Coordinating Office.
By Nina Feldman
While overdose deaths declined last year in Philadelphia, HIV infections increased. Last week, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health released data that show an increase in new HIV infection since 2016 after a decade of decline. The increase has been attributed to infections among people who inject drugs — 59 of whom were newly diagnosed with HIV in 2018, double the number of people who were diagnosed in 2016. Bucks County has been experiencing a similar increase.
By Inquirer Editorial Board
Thomas Farley, commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health, said the increase “is something that definitely has us concerned.”
The overall number of new HIV cases has been on a steady decline since the mid-2000s. Currently, 19,199 Philadelphians are living with HIV. In 2017 there were 419 newly diagnosed HIV infections, according to the health department.
But from 2016 to 2018, the number of new diagnoses reported in people who inject drugs has nearly doubled to 59, a number that is sure to rise when all the data are finalized, said James Garrow, spokesperson for the Department of Public Health.
By Mari Schaefer