WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Dec. 1 marks World AIDS Day, a day to spread awareness and show support for people living with HIV.
According to the Maryland Health Department, by the end of 2020, experts reported over 30,000 residents in Maryland living with HIV. In 2019, health experts found that at least 3,500 residents in Maryland are living with HIV but remain undiagnosed.
World AIDS Day is used to spread more information about the importance of getting tested, and to let residents know that you can still live a long healthy life with HIV, but it is crucial to take the proper steps to care for yourself.
“It’s important for people of all walks of life to know that HIV does not discriminate. It’s also important to know your HIV status and start treatment if your process. Everyone with HIV can live a healthy life but it starts with getting medical support,” said Rebecca Coyle, a community outreach worker with the Frederick County Health Department.
Advocates say it is important to ask for help and never be afraid of who you are. They recommend seeking guidance and always embracing who you are.
According to the Frederick County Health Department, the facility provides free confidential HIV screening/testing, treatment services and partner notification services.