DeKalb County receives $1.5 million to fight spread of HIV

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. (PHOTO by Jenni Girtman/Atlanta Event Photography).

 
By Tia Mitchell
 
The U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has chosen DeKalb County for a pilot initiative aimed and stopping the spread of HIV.

The money will be used to increase HIV testing, link people diagnosed with HIV with resources and keep those under care engaged in services. The funding will also be used to encourage people with high risk of infection to begin taking pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.

The pilot will begin in DeKalb on July 1 and continue for six months. The funding is part of President Donald Trump’s Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative.

“I applaud President Trump for his leadership and look forward to working together to end the HIV epidemic facing our country,” Gov. Brian Kemp said in a news release. “In Georgia – home to the CDC – where the HIV incidence rate represents a disproportionate share of the affected U.S. population, we share the President’s vision to remove barriers to treatment, reduce the stigma associated with seeking medical intervention, and expand services for rapid detection and response.”

Nearly 60,000 Georgians are living with HIV, and the state has the second-highest rate of new HIV diagnoses in the nation, the news release said.

Read the original story on AJC.com.