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CDC statistics places Atlanta third in new HIV infections


The most recent data from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reveals a concerning situation regarding new cases of HIV in the Southeast.


In 2021, Metro Atlanta reported over 1,500 new cases, placing it third in the country behind Memphis and Miami


"According to Jeff Cheek, Fulton County's director of HIV Elimination, the prevalence of HIV is on the rise in the southern region, with Atlanta being one of the areas experiencing particularly high numbers," reported Cheek.


In 2021, a significant portion of the reported cases in Georgia, precisely 2,371, were attributed to new cases. 


Cheek highlighted the persistent problems of stigmas surrounding the virus and limited access to healthcare as critical factors contributing to the alarming statistics.


"It is crucial for us to examine Medicaid expansion and its potential to assist people, as we currently lack adequate health coverage for everyone, not just those with HIV disease," he explained.


The numbers were disturbing for Thrive Atlanta co-founder Larry Scott-Walker, but they did not come as much of a shock.


"The impact of it is jarring, evoking a sense of sadness, yet also serving as a source of motivation... That drives me..."It comes as no surprise, considering Georgia is among the ten states that chose not to expand Medicaid," he stated.


Scott-Walker, who was diagnosed with HIV in 2007, explained that he played a crucial role in establishing Thrive. The organisation aims to address the challenges patients face in Georgia and other parts of the country where resources are scarce.

"We aimed to create a platform that highlights the richness of Black culture and specifically focuses on the experiences of Black queer men. We strive to increase the number of individuals in our communities who achieve undetectable status while also fostering open and honest conversations that help reduce the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS," he explained.


According to his statement to FOX 5, they have brought those discussions to the nation's capital, advocating for enhancements in the healthcare system.


Cheek expressed concern over the numbers but also noted that his office has observed a rise in people taking necessary medications to combat the virus.


"According to his statement, there has been a notable six percent rise in the number of individuals experiencing entry and suppression. This suggests that progress is being made in the desired direction," he stated.


Scott-Walker expressed their commitment to advocating for Medicaid expansion at the state and national levels.

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