By Barrett White
Forty years ago, the collaborative fight to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic began. This year, Legacy Community Health is joining Harris County Public Health, the Houston Health Department, the Montrose Center, and other organizations to pay tribute to those we have lost, acknowledge the hard work and innovation of many, and celebrate the strides taken to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Thank you to all who have been a part of our journey. We are truly grateful.
According to most recent data from AIDSVu, there are over 27,000 people living with HIV in Houston. The most recent data shows that in 2018 alone, over 1,200 people were newly diagnosed in the city. What’s more, Houston reflects the national trend: The Black community is disproportionately affected by the virus. While Black individuals make up only 23% of Houston’s population, this community makes up nearly 50% of all new and existing HIV infections.
The HIV pandemic is still very real and the work that Legacy and others do is vitally important to supporting the HIV community. Nearly 60% of all people living with HIV in Houston have achieved undetectable status, meaning that through proper and consistent HIV treatment, their viral load has dropped so low that HIV is undetectable and untransmittable.
As wonderful as this news is, we can still strive for a percentage greater than 60.
Every year, Legacy hosts a World AIDS Day vigil. This year, honoring 40 years of collaboration in the fight to end the HIV pandemic, we are collaborating with the City of Houston and HIV assistance organizations from across town. This effort includes the City’s World AIDS Day Event at Sam Houston Park downtown and a Legacy-hosted event at Wellness Bar on Westheimer.
Visit any of Legacy’s locations near you for FREE ONE-minute HIV testing, plus free breakfast and chances to win prizes. No appointment needed! Visit our testing page for hours and locations in both Houston and Beaumont!
For more information on the various ways you can observe World AIDS Day with Legacy Community Health this year, please visit our website here.