Dallas County aims to end the HIV epidemic by 2030 through a multi-pronged campaign that promotes HIV prevention, testing, treatment and substance abuse recovery, according to a press release from the county this week.
New diagnoses of HIV continue, and one in eight people unknowingly live with HIV, the press release notes, adding that “knowing your HIV status and taking steps to prevent further transmission will go a long way towards ending HIV in Dallas.”
The Dallas County Ending the HIV Epidemic Campaign focuses on information and resources that provide hope for eliminating the HIV epidemic, with information available at EndHIVDallasCounty.org.
Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang said, “This is an ambitious goal. But with new treatments, prevention methods and routine testing, we feel that it’s very achievable. Through our work with community stakeholders and organizations, we will continue to promote resources and information so that all Dallas County residents know their HIV status and have access to quality care.”
Lionel M. Hillard, a community leader who lives with HIV, said that “Ending the epidemic will take a collaborative effort between the agencies, communities, medical staff within the Ryan White Program and the rest of the medical community.”
He stressed that “HIV does not just affect gay people,” adding that “it impacts us all — those living with HIV, the friends, family members, work colleagues and neighbors. We must all come together and provide clear and accurate information on this illness and understand the role that each of us plays in eradicating HIV.”
Chris Sapphire, a Dallas County Ending the HIV Epidemic influencer and actor from Netflix shows The Circle and Dancing Queen, said he wanted to be a part of this campaign because he is “a firm believer in hope. We are getting closer than ever to ending the HIV epidemic, and the future looks bright.
“We’ve made many strides in the battle to end HIV, and victory is near,” he added/
Dallas County’s multipronged campaign includes:
• HIV Testing
It’s important to get tested regularly. Stay informed by knowing your status. Testing information is available here.
• Preventive Treatment
PrEP is a preventive medication that can be taken as a daily pill or a monthly shot and is 99 percent effective in preventing HIV. Appointments can be booked online here.
• HIV Treatment Therapy
Find out more information about treatment here.
• Substance Abuse Recovery
Substance abuse treatment can help prevent HIV transmissions. Visit here to find treatment locations near you. Other recovery resources may be found here.