The Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine will host an event Wednesday, September 27 to raise awareness about the rise in HIV/AIDS among Maryland’s youth ages 13-24, particularly among young black men. Of the 252 youth HIV diagnoses in 2015, 82.5 percent were male and 17.5 percent were female in Maryland while 82.1 percent of these new diagnoses were African American. The statistics are astounding considering the availability of prevention therapy.
“During our Care and Support Access study, we found that HIV infection is not only disproportionately affecting young black gay men, but we found that these young men face significant personal challenges as they attempt to remain on treatment for HIV. Being on treatment reduces the risk of new infections and poor health,” said Carla Alexander, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine. “We co-founded the non-profit Baltimore Project to Save Lives to create a positive, safe place for Baltimore’s young men to congregate to learn about prevention and treatment options in addition to providing resources for homelessness and other socio-economic conditions that impact self-care.”
“These data inspire us to do more to ensure that all those we serve at risk for HIV infection get engaged in our provider services, including PREP,” said Robert Redfield, MD, The Robert C. Gallo, MD Endowed Professorship in Translational Medicine, Co-founder, Associate Director, Director, Division of Clinical Care and Research, Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine. “Today’s event, and Dr. Alexander’s non-profit, Baltimore Project to Save Lives, are terrific initiatives needed to effectively reach the hardest hit minorities in our community.”