Muriel Bowser
**FILE** D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (Roy Lewis/The Washington Informer)

Mayor Muriel Bowser recently released the District’s HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration annual report and highlighted D.C.’s progress toward ending the HIV epidemic in the District. The report from DC Health shows there was continued improvement in the health outcomes of people living with HIV and a slight decrease in the number of new HIV diagnoses in 2018.

“By working hand in hand with our community partners, we have been able to not only prevent new cases, but also more quickly deliver treatment to residents who are diagnosed with HIV,” Bowser said. “This year’s report once again provides a roadmap for how we can continue working together to increase access to services and move closer to reaching the goals laid out in the 90/90/90/50 plan.”

The key HIV data in this year’s report includes:

– The number of newly diagnosed HIV cases in the District decreased to 360 cases in 2018 (from 368 in 2017); overall, there has been a 73 percent decline from 1,374 cases in 2007
– There were no babies born with HIV in 2018
– 12,322 current residents of Washington, DC, or 1.8 percent of the population, are living with HIV; Black and Latino residents with HIV exceeded 1 percent of their respective populations, with Black residents disproportionately impacted at 2.7 percent
– There were 9,007 cases of chlamydia, 4,249 cases of gonorrhea, and 282 cases of primary and secondary syphilis reported
– There were 1,515 people with newly reported hepatitis C in 2018
– For the first time, more than half of people living with HIV in DC are older than 50
– The number of new HIV diagnoses among young people ages 20-24 remained level for the past three years; young people ages 13-24 represent 20 percent of new HIV diagnoses
– Sexual contact is the leading mode of transmission reported among newly diagnosed and identified HIV cases

DC Health tracks the District’s efforts to improve the care continuum for people living with HIV to sustain their health from diagnosis to linkage and retention in care. The care continuum measures people linked to care, engaged in treatment, and achieving viral load suppression. Among people newly diagnosed with HIV, 57 percent were linked to medical care within seven days of diagnosis, and 84 percent within 30 days. The report confirms people getting on treatment quicker as the more than two-thirds achieved viral suppression within six months. Also, DC is close to reaching one of the Mayor’s goals with 85% of persons on treatment having attained viral suppression.

DC Health is launching a new online directory called LinkU to help people find a full range of services offered by medical and community providers, including health, sexual health, food/nutrition, housing, transportation, financial assistance, education, and employment in the metropolitan area. LinkU will also help people make appointments at the locations.

Residents can visit, which launched Sept. 1.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *