World AIDS Day – Dedicated to Raising Awareness
Observed on December 1st annually, World AIDS Day denotes solidarity for people around the world who are affected by HIV and to honor the more than 32 million people who have died worldwide from AIDS-related illness.
In Massachusetts, Black Non-Hispanic and Hispanic/Latino individuals were diagnosed with HIV infection during 2018–2020 at rates eight and four times that of White Non-Hispanic individuals, respectively, according to www.Mass.gov. And we are disheartened to add that Roxbury has further been disproportionately affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This is according to the Massachusetts HIV/AIDS Epidemiologic Profile which reports that Roxbury had an estimated 1,730 people living with HIV as of January 1, 2022 – the highest number among all Boston neighborhoods.
It is no secret that these high numbers are closely linked to social and economic factors, including poverty, racism, stigma, and lack of access to health care and prevention services. In our unwavering commitment to help combat these heartrending statistics, Whittier Street Health Center offers rapid testing, assessment, medical case management, and peer support for people living with or are at high-risk for HIV.
Our Infectious Disease and Special Populations Department provides preventative, diagnostic, and therapeutic services regarding HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases
By offering both onsite care and home visits via our Mobile Health Team, the Whittier HIV Care Team has the capability to go directly into communities to find those who might be infected with HIV and require care. Services include HIV testing and counseling, condom and safe kit distribution, and referral and linkage to comprehensive care. In addition, Whittier has expanded its HIV-related services to include free PrEP HIV-prevention medications, emergency housing and financial assistance.
“The sad fact of the matter is that despite the many developments in HIV prevention and treatment options, certain populations are still not benefitting equally from these life-saving advances,” said Frederica M. Williams, president and CEO of Whittier Street Health Center. “We stand firm in our commitment to doing our part to stem new HIV transmission and to provide the physical care and emotional support that every patient – no matter their race, ethnicity, social status, or financial wellbeing – deserves.”
HIV testing and counseling services are readily available during walk-in hours Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on the 3rd floor of Whittier Street Health Center’s 1290 Tremont Street location. For more information, call 617-858-2500.
World AIDS Day – Dedicated to Raising Awareness:
Please join us on December 1st, 2023 to show support for people living with HIV and to remember those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses.
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