On this World AIDS Day, the City of San Antonio has become a 'Fast Track City,' joining an international city-led effort to end AIDS worldwide by 2030, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Metro Health Director Dr. Colleen Bridger says San Antonio is on the wrong end of the latest statistics about HIV."We're seeing both nationally and at the state level, the rate of HIV is decreasing over time, in San Antonio it is increasing," she said.
In fact, San Antonio has the largest cluster of new HIV infections in Texas.Other 'fast track cities' which are determined to help end AIDS include Miami, Atlanta, and San Francisco.
The goal is what is called 90-90-90.That means 90% of people with HIV will be diagnosed, currently San Antonio's diagnosis rate is 86%; 90% of people diagnosed with HIV will be treated, currently that local figure is 72%, and 90% of people being treated for HIV have detectable viral loads, a figure which is currently 85%.
“With coordinated support from our community partners and a commitment from City and County government, we have an opportunity today to eliminate new cases of HIV,” Mayor Nirenberg said. “The time is now for San Antonio to do more, to be better, to engage people without shame or stigma.”
Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff supported the initiative."We, as a community, need to rise up and take the necessary steps to reduce HIV infections," he said. "This initiative wil help accomplish this goal through education, testing, and treatment."