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New Orleans launches 'Bounce to Zero' campaign to end HIV epidemic

The City of New Orleans launched a campaign called “Bounce to Zero.”

NEW ORLEANS — People across the globe are uniting on World AIDS day, Thursday, Dec. 1.

The day is an opportunity to show support for those living with HIV, raise awareness and honor those who have died from it. 

This year’ global theme for World AIDS day is “Putting Ourselves To The Test: Achieving Equity to End HIV,” to encourage people to eliminate the disparities that create barriers to testing, prevention and access to care.

According to the U.S. Department of Health, about 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV and about 13% of them don’t know it. The agency says HIV continues to have a disproportionate impact on certain populations, specifically racial and ethnic minorities as well as gay and bisexual men.

According to experts at the Tulane Total Health Clinic, there are over 8,500 people in our region living with HIV and about 65% of them call New Orleans home. Jacquel Benion, the clinic manager, says a reason HIV impacts New Orleans at such a high rate is because of stigma surrounding the disease and lack of information. She says talking about sexual health regularly will lead to more people getting tested early and having access to treatment.

Benion says there are so many local resources all year round. The Tulane Total Health Clinic offers free HIV testing every day as well as comprehensive sexual health services. They are also a Ryan White funded clinic, which allows them to financially support those who may need it to access care and treatment.

The City of New Orleans launched a campaign called “Bounce to Zero.” It encompasses New Orleans and its seven surrounding parishes. It’s in conjunction with a national campaign and will focus on HIV testing prevention and treatment with the goal of ending the HIV epidemic. The Bounce to Zero campaign will host a number of events through Dec.18.


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