MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM)– According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV continues to be a major global public health issue. But, Eastern Panhandle residents who may be living with HIV will never be alone in the fight.
Shenandoah Community Health’s Positive Health Program, part of the Ryan White outpatient program, identifies people who are at risk for HIV or are affected by the disease. The program offers comprehensive health care testing to individuals living with HIV regardless of ability to pay. Funding can go towards transportation needed for appointments, housing, and a patient’s medications, which are all federally funded.
“Especially with the IV drug use epidemic in the area, some younger people contracting HIV and not knowing what to do or much about it, getting them in, getting them educated, spreading the news so they don’t get infected has really gone a long way,” said SCH HIC Coordinator Katherine Tobin.
According to the CDC, an estimated 1.1 million people in the U.S. were living with HIV in 2015. However, one in seven of those people didn’t know they were infected.