WWR: HIV Testing and Awareness in Washington, DC

A bus stop ad for HIV testing in Washington, DC.


Today is National HIV Testing Day – a reminder that HIV is still very much an issue in the U.S.

Every year there are 50,000 new HIV infections nationwide, yet 1 in 5 HIV-positive people in the U.S. don’t know they are infected.

Women account for nearly a quarter of these infections, and there are also nearly 8,000 HIV-positive pregnant women giving birth each year in the U.S. – underscoring the importance of HIV testing to protect both mothers and children. 

In Washington, D.C. – where the Foundation is headquartered – the HIV/AIDS epidemic is particularly severe. The prevalence rate in some areas of the city is comparable to a number of PEPFAR-recipient nations.

As AIDS 2012 – the world’s largest HIV/AIDS conference – comes to Washington in July, we’ve been reading articles about confronting the AIDS epidemic in our own community:

Norton gets HIV test on Capitol Hill, urges DC residents to get tested, too – D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton gets tested at the Capitol, and urges other lawmakers and D.C. residents to set an example by doing the same.

For AIDS fighters in D.C., lessons from Africa – In this article from Global Post’s “AIDS Turning Point” series, Juliana Schatz and John Donnelly write about AIDS advocates using lessons learned in battling the pandemic in Africa to benefit areas of D.C. hit hardest by the disease.

For D.C.’s AIDS detective, it began in Africa – Global Post’s Juliana Schatz interviews Dr. Alan Greenberg, a George Washington University professor and a Senior Technical Advisor for the Foundation. Greenberg spent two decades as a CDC “disease detective” in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but he’s also now using his experience to help stem the HIV/AIDS crisis in D.C.

AIDS infection rate remains epidemic in District, report finds –The Washington Post’s Lena Sun provides an overview of the current state of the epidemic in D.C. Though the numbers remain extremely high – over 3 percent of D.C. residents are living with HIV/AIDS – a tally of new cases of HIV has dropped by half over the last two years.

HIV infection rate skyrockets among some D.C. women –Washington Post writer Lena Sun details how HIV/AIDS in D.C. has affected black heterosexual women disproportionately. Over the past two years, the rate of HIV infection among black heterosexual women has doubled – from 6.3 percent to 12.1 percent.

Jane Coaston is the Foundation’s Media Relations Coordinator in Washington, D.C.