REACHING OUT TO OUR COMMUNITY
About 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the United States.
About 2/3 of them are not accessing healthcare that could keep their HIV infection under control.
About one in seven people infected with HIV do NOT know it.
Of those who do, one in every three take HIV medication.
In 2014, there were almost 5900 new HIV diagnoses in our state. That brings the total of people living with HIV — some undiagnosed — in Florida to 128,0000. Monroe County has an average 19-24 new HIV infections yearly and that’s 19-24 too many.
What you don’t know can hurt you…and others.
Eradicating infection and keeping everyone who’s HIV-negative to remain that way is always our goal. We urge everyone to pick up a free safer sex packet in many Old Town night spots, shops or guesthouses; it contains condoms, personal lubricant and instructions on proper condom use. Eradicating infection and keeping everyone who’s HIV-negative to remain that way is our goal but condemnation isn’t our style. People’s lives are their own, but we stand ready to provide the toolkit to ensure a healthier outcome.
Being unaware of your status means, if you are HIV-positive, you can fall seriously ill and also, if not consistently engaging in safe sex practices, pass infection to others.
Hence the push via marketing, social media and new sites for HIV-testing. Not only does this website offer a wealth of information about HIV/AIDS, so do our various Facebook pages, Twitter and our YouTube channel.
We have Public Service Announcements and paid advertising on You Tube, local radio, throughout the Keys on COMCAST and WEYW-TV. Our office remains available to the public Monday through Friday during traditional business hours; scheduling an appointment through our main switchboard is also advised.
If you can’t come in, we will come to you.
That’s right. We make house calls.
AIDS Help is not the sex police. Moralizing only alienates. AIDS Help works as hard to dispel myths as prevent infection. We forge ahead, even when the CDC and other Federal funding mechanisms are being allocated to the largest 17 cities across the U.S. that have the highest number of new HIV infections. (Monroe County has an average 19-24 new HIV infections yearly, compared to neighboring Dade County, with an average 57 new HIV infections per month!.
Because AIDS Help, in the last five years, has seen $750,000 fade irretrievably away, much of it from our Education/Outreach component, we are especially grateful to the annual King and Queen of FANTASY Fest competition. Not only does their hard work include serving as countywide ambassadors for our Agency’s Mission, but the money raised during the 8-week campaign helps fund education, outreach and awareness efforts for young, sexually-active people.