LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is urging Michigan residents to “Know Your Status” as part of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.
The observance marks the 37th year since the first cases of HIV were diagnosed and garnered the world’s attention. As of July 2018, 18,650 people were estimated to be living with HIV in Michigan. Seventy-eight percent of those infected are male, 21 percent are female, and 1 percent are transgender. Men who have sex with men (MSM) remain the demographic at highest risk for HIV, specifically Black MSM aged 15 – 29.
Of the reported 18,650 cases:
• 56 percent are Black.
• 34 percent are White.
• 6 percent are Hispanic.
• 3 percent are other or of an unknown race.
• 1 percent are Asian/Pacific Islander.
• Less than 1 percent are multi or other race.
MDHHS’ Division of HIV and STD Programs provides HIV and STD prevention, risk reduction education and care services statewide, as well as training to support HIV/AIDS and STD providers. Additional resources exist around Michigan to provide free or reduced cost HIV testing and treatment.
“Three out of four people living with HIV know their status,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive. “Reaching people living with HIV who do not know their status and ensuring that they are linked to quality care and prevention services is essential to ensuring they can lead healthy and productive lives. We are urging Michiganders to get tested and know your status.”
HIV is a chronic disease with treatment options allowing a person living with HIV to have a life expectancy close to that of the general population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with early detection, treatment and adherence to antiretroviral therapy, there is practically no possibility of a person transmitting the virus to sexual partners.
In recognition of World AIDS Day, many agencies and health departments across the state are hosting events in collaboration with MDHHS staff. Contact your local health department or AIDS Service Organization in your area for more information regarding these events.
To find testing sites in your area, visit Gettested.cdc.gov.
For additional information, visit Michigan.gov/hivstd