SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — A push is on to end the HIV epidemic in the Mid-South. The region is ranked 8th in the nation among large cities for new HIV cases reported every year.
In 2018, more than 6,700 people were living with the disease in Shelby County.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the Tennessee Department of Health, and others created a coalition for ending the HIV epidemic. The goal is to lower Shelby County's new infection rates to 90% by 2030.
"So, short of a cure, which we hope will happen in our lifetime, the tools to end the HIV epidemic are there, and yet it remains aspirational,” said Dr. Aditya Gaur, Clinical Director of End HIV 901. “… the ability to take these tools, to apply them day in and day out, to make it a seamless access for everyone in the community. That's what will make a difference."
To help reach that goal, the Centers for Disease and Prevention is giving the project more than $2 million a year for the next five years.