Contact: Carol Schliesinger
SAN ANTONIO (May. 31, 2018) – More than 4,000 individuals were tested for HIV during the month of April, thanks to a challenge issued to City Council by Councilman William “Cruz” Shaw. The goal was to test four times the average amount of people during STD Awareness Month. His City Council colleagues responded, as did the community partners working to eradicate HIV.
The friendly competition among city council districts aimed to motivate residents to get tested. The goal of testing 4,000 individuals was accomplished collaboratively by community partners including Alamo Area Resource Center (AARC), Beat AIDS Coalition, Center for Health Care Services, SA AIDS Foundation, San Antonio Fighting Back, University Health System (FFACTS Clinic) and Metro Health.
District 5 topped the list with 506 HIV tests performed. District 3 took second place with 480 tests. Following closely behind was District 2 with 479 tests.
“We’ve raised awareness so much through this competition,” said Dr. Colleen Bridger, Director, Metro Health. “Thousands more people know their status today and even more are aware of the need to know your status.”
In San Antonio, 1 in 7 people with HIV don’t know they have the virus. For the past ten years, Bexar County’s new HIV diagnosis rates have been consistently higher than the state and national rates.Metro Health seeks to increase the number of individuals aware of their STD status to curve the spread of HIV in the community and in time eliminate the disease altogether.
The recent efforts also helps Metro Health make headway in reaching its Fast Track Cities 90-90-90 targets by the year 2020:
- 90 percent of people with HIV are diagnosed
- 90 percent of people diagnosed with HIV are being treated
- 90 percent of people being treated for HIV have undetectable viral loads