UW Health’s World AIDS Day free community event set for Thursday

UW Health’s World AIDS Day free community event set for Thursday
File photo

The number and rate of HIV cases per year in Wisconsin has declined, however, the number of HIV diagnoses in Wisconsin and nationwide has increased among young men, especially those of color.

More than 40 percent of 221 new HIV cases in 2016 were young men, ages 13-19, according to the latest Department of Health Services data.

HIV has a large impact on communities of color. In 2016, two-thirds of newly diagnosed cases of HIV in Wisconsin were people of color, yet people of color make up just 17 percent of the state’s population. One in three black gay or bisexual men is estimated to be living with HIV in Wisconsin.

In honor of World AIDS Day, the UW Health HIV/AIDS Comprehensive Care program will host a free event Thursday at the Lussier LOFT in the Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa St., from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

“Though we do not hear as much about HIV as we did 20 years ago, people continue to acquire HIV daily. It is imperative that everyone, especially young people, receive correct information about HIV, how it is transmitted, how it can be prevented, and its impact on health and quality of life,” said Dr. Sheryl Henderson, pediatric and adolescent HIV clinician with UW Health’s HIV/AIDS program. “Events such as this are very important toward that goal.”

HIV treatment has significantly improved. People are living longer. Women living with HIV can and do have HIV negative babies.

UW Health has been providing care for people with HIV/AIDS since 1985. World AIDS is Dec. 1. For more information, call 608-265-8798.