A new study released has revealed some startling facts about HIV/AIDS cases in Atlanta. Due to the lack of testing centers, it’s been discovered by the time Atlanta residents are diagnosed with the virus, nearly three out of ten already have full-blown AIDS, according to WABE.
Currently Atlanta is 5th on the list of US cities with the highest number of new HIV diagnoses.
Experts say that’s because routine HIV testing is not offered in the places where most people get their health care. By the time patients are diagnosed in Atlanta, almost one-third have advanced to clinical AIDS.
Since starting a routine testing program in 2013, Grady Hospital has diagnosed an average of two or three patients with HIV every single day.
“This is something that keeps me awake at night in Atlanta,” Dr. Abigail Hankin-Wei said.
She runs Grady’s FOCUS HIV testing program. It’s the only emergency department in the city that offers a HIV test to every patient regardless of why they came in.
“When we diagnose patients with HIV, the first time we are telling them they’ve been infected with HIV, we know that among our patients at Grady, nearly half of them have AIDS the day we diagnose them,” said Hankin-Wei.
From socioeconomic issues to the stigmas of getting tested, if people don’t do better in Atlanta, the statistics will become even more frightening.