HIV goes overlooked in Dallas, on the rise in Houston

By Barrett White


In a study led by Zachary Most, MD, of the Pediatric Infectious Disease department at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, it was revealed that in adolescent patients living with HIV, there were a significant number of MOEs, or “missed opportunity encounters”. These MOEs mean that these patients could have been diagnosed much earlier, had a proper HIV detection program been in place. Many pediatric centers do not have advanced HIV detection programs like adult emergency center do, if they have one at all.

In Houston, the diagnoses are not being missed, but instead show a growing trend in adolescents. Between 2017 and 2018, adolescents between 11 and 19 showed a developing number of HIV diagnoses in an age group that typically does not see much growth. Most of the new diagnoses were young black males, followed by Hispanic males. Black and Hispanic females made up another notable portion of diagnoses after males.

According to the Houston Health Department, 1 in 200 Houstonians is living with HIV. Prevention is key—if you are unsure of your HIV status, we strongly suggest you get tested. Book an appointment or walk in to one of our Legacy clinics and get tested with zero judgment. Our testing is quick and free for high-risk individuals.

Legacy is committed to ending the HIV epidemic in Houston through public health education, legislative and grassroots advocacy, and coalition building.