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HIV cases rising in Miami Valley; '...nearly seven times higher in Blacks than in whites,' public health official said

Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day.
Ohio Department of Health
Ohio Department of Health
Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day. Reported cases of AIDS have increased in Montgomery and Greene counties.

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.

While the nation recognizes December 1 as World AIDS Day, advanced HIV treatmentsare reducing the virus’ spread.

“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.”

Learn more about HIV, AIDS, testing and treatments at the Center of Disease Control's website.

Kathryn Mobley is an award-winning broadcast journalist, crafting stories for more than 30 years. She’s reported and produced for TV, NPR affiliate and for the web. Mobley also contributes to several area community groups. She sings tenor with World House Choir (Yellow Springs), she’s a board member of the Beavercreek Community Theatre and volunteers with two community television operations, DATV (Dayton) and MVCC (Centerville).

Email: kmobley@wyso.org
Cell phone: (937)-952-9924