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Keep the Promise

Citywide HIV testing events honor Stephanie Tubbs Jones

8/20/2013, 6:03 p.m.
Late congresswoman’s commitment, compassion and bravery placed her at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention and care during a time when ...
In this Call & Post archive photo from December 7, 2006, showing her support for the “Take Charge. Take the Test.” Campaign and World AIDS Day, U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, right, receives an HIV test from The Free Clinic’s outreach specialist Johnnena Wagoner. (PHOTO BY ERIC BENSON)

Recovery Resources

On Thursday, August 15th, community partners and organizers of ‘Keep the Promise to Women’ came together for a final planning meeting, where the united groups shared their passion for the event on Thurs., Aug. 22nd. “We are calling all media to join the Call & Post to bring awareness on the impact of HIV/AIDS in our community and the need to provide support for all affected,” said Connie Harper, the associate publisher/editor of Call & Post.

According to a report from Harvard Law School’s Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, approximately 10,000 Ohioans are currently living with HIV, and another 8,600 individuals are living with AIDS. However, these numbers only account for people who are aware of their HIV/AIDS status, and national estimates project 20 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS have not been tested and are unaware of their status.

According to an HIV/AIDS Surveillance Program conducted by the Ohio Department of Health, men were consistently diagnosed at a far higher rate than women between 2007 and 2011 (about 78 percent men to 22 percent women).

Consistent with national statistics, HIV/AIDS incidence was highest in Ohio’s African American population, which accounted for over 56 percent of new diagnoses for each of the five years tracked in the Department of Health report.

Rates in the African American community have been slowly but consistently rising since 2007. Also on the rise are rates among youth aged 13-24, particularly among 20- to 24-year-olds, who went from accounting for 1 percent of new diagnoses in 2007 to 4 percent in 2011.

Though the highest incidence by age was among people aged 45-64, those age groups showed a slow but steady decline in new diagnoses over the years studied, a trend that can only be mirrored in the younger demographics through an increase in prevention education.

“Women deserve the chance to stay HIV-negative by receiving preventive education, and access to affordable treatment is critical to the well-being of our community in Cleveland, Ohio and our nation” said Tracy Jones, CEO of the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, an Affiliate of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “More importantly, all people living with HIV/AIDS have the right to affordable medication and comprehensive health care.”

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider in the USA. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 230,000 individuals in 28 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Asia. Additional information is available at www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter & Instagram: @AIDSHealthcare.