Even with the many awareness campaigns, the HIV infection rate for African American women in impoverished D.C. neighborhoods has nearly double in the past two years, according to the Washington Post. The numbers went from 6.3 percent to 12.1 percent, reported a study done by D.C. Department of Health. Washington Post reports:

The large increase reflects wider testing of people who were previously unaware of their status and possibly a still-rising rate of new infections in that high-risk group, officials said.

The disease remains at epidemic levels in Washington. In releasing the study, District health officials announced new recommendations for doctors and other health-care providers to start treatment immediately for all people newly diagnosed with HIV instead of waiting for evidence that someone’s immune system has been severely damaged.

In order to highlight the District’s progression in fighting this epidemic, the International AIDS Conference will be held here. next month. This is the first time the conference is returning to the United States in more than two decades.


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