Southern County Pledges Big Bucks To Fight HIV & Promote PrEP Use.
With all eyes on Atlanta for the Super Bowl this weekend, the rest of the year it may draw attention for some bad health statistics.
“Fulton County has one of America’s worst HIV epidemics, and it simply will not be solved without government leadership at the local and state levels,” Melanie Thompson, interim chair of the Fulton County HIV/AIDS Prevention, Care & Policy Advisory Committee, told Project Q Atlanta. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Fulton County has the second highest rate of new HIV diagnoses in the country in counties with 100,000+ people.
How do you solve an epidemic that even in 2019 many feel is a gay issue? Fulton County, where Atlanta, Georgia is located has decided to move ahead with intelligence, education, and funding.
The Fulton County Board of Commissioners has decided to add $670,000 to help fight HIV/AIDS in the county. The money will be used to fund nine new healthcare specialists and expand the availability of PrEP. It will add one nurse practitioner, three disease intervention specialists, two licensed practical nurses, two social work coordinators, and one medical records assistant.
Many cities and states are getting on board with promoting the use of PrEP.
It was part of a nearly $1.2 million increase in funding (10 percent higher than last year) for the Fulton Board of Health in the county’s 2019 budget that was approved during a Board of Commissioners meeting on Jan. 23.
Thompson called it:
the first step toward ensuring adequate health department services. Fulton County has one of America’s worst HIV epidemics, and it simply will not be solved without government leadership at the local and state levels. The Fulton County HIV/AIDS Advisory Committee thanks the commissioners for their commitment to end AIDS in Fulton County. We have a long way to go, but today our leaders took a much-needed step in the right direction. - Project Q Atlanta
Commissioner Natalie Hall (top photo) spearheaded the funding request. The District 4 commissioner said she worked behind the scenes with the HIV/AIDS division of the Fulton Board of Health after discovering the county’s budget committee denied its funding requests.