In the midst of all of the legislative activity in Georgia,seventeen HIV/AIDS advocates from our state traveled to Washington, DC in February to speak with members of Georgia’s Congressional Delegation about the fight to end HIV/AIDS. Four of the 17 advocates making the trip this year were from Georgia Equality. They were: Youth HIV Policy Advisors Christian Dacus and Brendan Allison, Master of Social Work Intern Brittany Garner, and Field Organizer and AIDS Watch State Coordinator for Georgia Wes Sanders.
As a part of the national effort AIDS Watch 2016, hosted by AIDS United and the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, the team from Georgia participated in a day of trainings and issue updates, and spent the second day of their trip on Capitol Hill. The issues they discussed included federal funding for Ryan White, comprehensive sex education, HIV criminalization, Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) and several others.
Georgia’s HIV epidemic is long entrenched and growing in some areas. Over 50,000 Georgians are living with HIV, and approximately 3,000 are diagnosed annually. Georgia ranked 2nd out of all US states for number of new HIV diagnoses in 2014 and 5th among all US states in the number of people living with HIV.
More information on the issues discussed can be found on AIDS United’s website: www.AIDSUnited.org