Fighting HIV/AIDS
At least 3 percent of District residents have HIV or AIDS, a total that far surpasses the 1 percent threshold that constitutes a “generalized and severe” epidemic. That translates into 2,984 residents per every 100,000 over the age of 12 — or 15,120 — according to the 2008 epidemiology report by the District’s HIV/AIDS office.

A Snapshot of HIV/AIDS in D.C.

    • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,1 out of every 20 adults in Washington D.C. is HIV positive.
    • Washington D.C. has by far the highest rate of new AIDS cases in the United States.
    • It is over 10 times the national average – higher than New York City, Baltimore, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Detroit.
    • Source: DC Department of Health, 2007

Youth and HIV/AIDS in DC: A New Generation

Increasing awareness on the importance of HIV testing isn’t a new public health battle, but experts said the current generation of young people presents an unprecedented challenge. Because this group of 16 to 24-year-olds has always lived in a world with HIV, the sense of urgency to eradicate the disease that dominated its early stages has largely been lost.

According to a national public health opinion survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation in June 2011, two-thirds of Americans named HIV/AIDS the most urgent health problem facing the United States in 1987. But over the years, that number has declined steadily and now stands at just 7 percent. Additionally, the study noted that the number of people who reported seeing, hearing or reading about the epidemic in the last year has decreased from seven in 10 people in 2004 to four in 10 individuals in 2011.

According to the Center for Disease Control, one in two sexually active young people will contract a sexually transmitted infections by the time they are 25 – although teenagers account for only a quarter of the sexually active population, they account for nearly half of all new STIs. Among cases of HIV, young people ages 13 to 25 account for 31 percent of all new infections and most reported contracting it through sexual contact, according to a January report on sexual health of young Americans by the Kaiser Family Foundation. We are aiming to change these statistics, one student at a time and reach students at their level.

Women and HIV/AIDS in DC

According to the DC Department of Health, the HIV infection rates among minority women in DC have nearly doubled in the past 2 years, from 6.3 to 12.1 percent from 2010 to 2012. While total new infections in DC are falling, new infection in women are on the rise. Check out the article in the Washington Post.