Fighting HIV/AIDS in Metro Atlanta
The recent growth of HIV infection rates in the South are very concerning. Three Metro Atlanta counties – DeKalb, Fulton, and Clayton – rate among the highest in new HIV diagnoses. Thankfully, new medications mean that HIV/AIDS is no longer a death sentence, but living with the disease involves a lifetime commitment to staying in care.
On June 27th, I joined Fulton County’s Task Force on HIV/AIDS who are working on a strategy to end the pandemic in our community. I also took an HIV/AIDS test, because fear and stigma should not stand in the way of knowing our status or from accessing care. At a recent Ways and Means Committee hearing, I continued to question how we can improve access to medication for HIV/AIDS patients as a part of health care reform.
To promote health in our community, we must stand up, and we must speak out. Everyone – faith leaders, doctors, policy makers, neighbors, families, and friends – we are all responsible. We are one family. We are one house, and we must come together if we are to ever see the end of and cure to AIDS.