An HIV/AIDS wake-up call for the District
By Ronald S. Johnson
The good news from the District’s HIV/AIDS Administration’s surveillance and testing efforts [“AIDS in the District,” editorial, March.30] showed the importance of getting tested. Another recent study found that 14 percent of gay and bisexual men in the District were HIV positive [Metro, March 26].
Of those, 40 percent did not know their HIV status before the study, although many of those men had seen a doctor in the previous 12 months.
Both studies should be wake-up calls. Gay and bisexual men should seek regular testing and know their HIV status. Area doctors must take the time to explain the importance of voluntary HIV testing for gay and bisexual men (and for women at risk), and the District must find the resources to do outreach, including mass media efforts, to urge gay and bisexual men, especially men of color, to be regularly tested.
Finally, men who test positive must receive life-saving treatment and care services, while men who test negative should be provided appropriate prevention services.
The writer is deputy executive director of the AIDS Action Council.
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