Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative
In June 2019, DeKalb County, Ga., was chosen as a pilot site for the national Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative. The DeKalb County Board of Health’s STD/Atlanta Comprehensive HIV Prevention Program is implementing this initiative.
The other pilot sites are East Baton Rouge Parish, La., and the city of Baltimore, Md. The federally-funded pilot is allowing the three local health departments to move swiftly to implement key parts of the initiative. These include increasing HIV testing, providing treatment for those living with HIV and expanding preventive services.
The next phase will focus on the 48 counties with the highest HIV rates, Washington, D.C., San Juan, Puerto Rico and seven states that have high rural HIV rates. By 2030, the initiative will reach across the country.
The initiative’s goals are to reduce the number of new infections by 75% in the next five years and by 90% in the next ten years.
The initiative’s strategies are:
- Diagnose: Test individuals who are at high risk for HIV and find HIV-positive individuals as early as possible. Everyone has an HIV status. Getting tested and knowing one’s status is the first step to ending the epidemic.
- Treat: Engage HIV-positive individuals in treatment as quickly as possible and retain them in care. Treatment guides the individual towards lowering the amount of HIV virus in their body. When the amount of the virus is very low, it cannot be detected or transmitted.
- Protect: Help individuals at risk for HIV transmission remain HIV-negative through proven practices, such as consistent, correct condom use and pre-exposure prophylaxis.
- Respond: Listen and respond to the community’s needs. Hearing the community’s voice is vital to ending the HIV epidemic. The Board of Health is developing an HIV Prevention Community Advisory Board.
The Board of Health offers FREE STD/HIV testing with immediate results.
- Walk into any Board of Health center and ask for a test. Click here for information on the centers.
- Step into our mobile testing van. Click here to see when the van will be in your area (schedule coming soon).
Several other agencies also offer free testing. Click here for locations: (link coming soon).
For those who are at risk for HIV infection, the Board of Health offers pre-exposure prophylaxis (“PrEP”) medication. PrEP reduces the risk of HIV infection by 97%.
For those who are living with HIV, the Early Care Clinic provides antiretroviral therapy for HIV, as well as comprehensive primary care. Individuals who are not already under care are linked to services.
Click here for more information on our medical care.
The Board of Health offers presentations on STD/HIV prevention. To request a presentation, click here.
Free condoms are available to clinics, doctors’ offices, hospitals, community centers, businesses and others to distribute to their customers and the public.
Distribution partners agree to:
- Make male and female condoms available.
- Clearly display marketing and educational materials, including “Everybody Has a Status” signage.
- Allow condoms to be taken freely, without barriers or restrictions such as limiting the number of condoms per person.
- As needed, refer their customers to STI/HIV/AIDS services.
To become a condom distribution partner, click here.
To volunteer in the Board of Health’s STD/HIV prevention efforts, click here.
For more information
AID Atlanta Hotline number: 1-800-551-2728.