Alexandria Has Highest AIDS Rate In Northern Virginia

By WAMU News 88.5 FM
|  Monday, Feb 28, 2011  |  Updated 7:46 AM EDT
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Alexandria Has Highest AIDS Rate In NoVa

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After 25 years of living with HIV, the owner of a novelty paper store has died due to liver cancer.

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The disparity concerns Thomas Suydam, the chairman of the Commission on HIV/AIDS in Alexandria. But he also thinks it's possible the widely available testing has driven the numbers up.

"In fact, that may in part, at least, explain the higher incidence in Alexandria is that we have been successful in encouraging people to be tested," he said.

Most people living with HIV and AIDS in Alexandria are African-American men, a group that the commission has been trying to target by reaching out to the faith community.

"One of the things that we're emphasizing is to love responsibly," said Alexandria Health Department Director Stephen Haering. "It means taking protection. It means staying in a monogamous relationship, and it means getting tested and acting on the results of those tests."

Haering said the city offers a number of clinics several times a week where anyone can get free testing.

Listen to the complete story at wamu.org

Copyright 2011 WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio. All Rights Reserved.

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