HIV cases rising in Miami Valley; '...nearly seven times higher in Blacks than in whites,' public health official said
Globally, at the end of last year, 39 million people were living with HIV. It continues to be a dangerous virus impacting Ohioans. Area public health officials say getting tested is the only way to reduce the spread.
According to the CDC, HIV is a virus — spread by exposure to infected blood or body fluids. AIDS is the final stage when the body’s immune system is damaged.
At the end of last year in Ohio, more than 25,419 people were living with HIV. That’s 1,300 more than documented in 2021. Dan Suffoletto, with Dayton-Montgomery County Public Health, said part of this increase is among 20-to-34 year old’s within one segment of our state’s population.
"The new HIV diagnosed cases are nearly seven times higher in Blacks than in whites,” Suffoletto explained.
“You can take medication yourself to make HIV undetectable in your own body," Suffoletto said. "In addition, your sexual partner can take something called ‘Prep’ that can also reduce the risk of that person contracting HIV and that reduction is up to 99%.”
While new treatments enabling infected people to live longer, Suffoletto urges all sexually active people to get tested along with their partners.
“Cases of HIV don’t necessarily stay within one county. People are having sexual relationships," says Suffoletto. "We want to remind people to have that discussion about not only HIV but about STI’s and get tested together that way you’re both sure neither of you has HIV nor STI’s.”