JACKSON, Miss. — In recognition of World AIDS Day this Sunday, December 1st, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) joins health providers and community partners in reminding all Mississippians that protection is the key to preventing the spread of HIV and AIDS.
“Jackson, Mississippi has the highest HIV diagnosis rate among males ages 13-24 in the country and the fourth highest diagnosis rate among adults,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs. “This disease is completely preventable. By protecting yourself and helping share the importance of protection with others, we can bring this number down.”
In 2012, there were 547 new reports of HIV infection in Mississippi. Among male HIV cases where a risk factor was identified, 87 percent of men reported having sex with men. The burden of the HIV epidemic is also profoundly disparate for men of color: In 2012, African American men had incidence rates seven times higher than white males.
“It’s vitally important that you get tested regularly for HIV if you’re sexually active,” said Dr. Dobbs.
HIV is treatable, but early diagnosis is the key. Effective HIV treatments are available that reduce transmission and allow for a long, healthy life. Sexually active individuals should get tested for HIV and STDs at least every six months. Sexually active individuals are also encouraged to be faithful to their partners, use condoms correctly and consistently, and talk with a physician about their sexual behavior. Free, confidential testing for HIV and other STDs is available at any county health department.
For more information about HIV, visit our STD-HIV Office on the web.
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Press Contact: MSDH Office of Communications, (601) 576-7667
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