Non-profit combats Georgia HIV statistics on four wheels

More than 2,000 people in Georgia were diagnosed with HIV in 2020.
Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 5:56 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - More than 2,000 people in Georgia were diagnosed with HIV in 2020. That same year, there were over 1,000 diagnoses of Stage 3 (AIDS) in the state. A nonprofit called Someone Cares has taken its mission of eliminating barriers to health services, on wheels. They drive to underserved areas in Georgia, bringing free HIV testing, after-test services, transportation to future appointments if needed; even compensation options for salary lost while a person is in testing or getting treatment for HIV.

“We let them know we are testing for HIV, hepatitis, and other sexually transmitted screenings,” said Jerome Mack with Someone Cares.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, DeKalb County has the second highest rate of people diagnosed with and living with HIV in the state. Fulton County bypasses Dekalb.

The crew’s focus on Wednesday was the Latinx community in Dekalb County. Volunteers tell me, being able to come into a community as an independent organization, speaking the same language as the people in that community, is a game changer. They say it allows trust to be built, and needed medical care to be given.

There are three stages of HIV. The third is Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or AIDS.

Early detection is key.