Lansing, Michigan – December 1, 2015 – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services today is joining organizations around the world to recognize World AIDS Day. The observance marks 34 years since the first cases of HIV garnered the world’s attention.
In recognition of World AIDS Day, MDHHS staff and many agencies and health departments across the state have scheduled events today and throughout the week to encourage education and provide testing opportunities. A list of events is available on the MDHHS website.
As of July 2015, a total of 18,800 people were estimated to be living with HIV in Michigan. Of the reported 18,800 cases, just under half have a diagnosis of AIDS. Further breakdown reveals that 59 percent of those infected are African-American, 34 percent are White, 4 percent are Hispanic, 1 percent are Asian/Pacific Islander and 2 percent are other or of an unknown race. Seventy-eight percent of those infected are males, and twenty-two percent are females. The highest percent of individuals infected with HIV are between the ages of 30-39. Men who have sex with men (MSM) is the demographic at highest risk for HIV.
The MDHHS Division of HIV and STD Programs promotes the health and wellness of Michigan residents by providing services to medically underserved people living with and at risk for HIV. It also addresses HIV healthcare disparities by facilitating access to care and other services via targeted testing, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) education, medical case management including anti-retroviral treatment, navigation, promotion of self-reliance and patient education. This positively impacts viral load suppression, reduces HIV transmission risk and improved health outcomes for Michigan citizens.
It is important to note that even if an HIV positive individual has an undetectable viral load, the possibility of that person transmitting the virus to potential partners still exists. Additionally, other factors such as an individual being under the influence of alcohol contributes negatively to decision making processes, and their ability to make appropriate decisions surrounding reducing their risks for HIV.
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