AIDS is an epidemic that should not be ignored. Although Africa holds the highest population of people afflicted with AIDS, our country has its own growing number of patients. In fact, our nation's backyard has a ratio of one in 50 people diagnosed with AIDS. The number does not include the unknown cases of HIV.
Additionally, Washington D.C. leads the country in the highest rate of new AIDS cases (12 times the national average) with a higher number of individuals living with AIDS with the exception of nine states.
Despite the city’s initiative to curtail the problem, AIDS continue to grow. For almost a decade, the city has invested approximately $500 million on medical care, AIDS/HIV testing and counseling.
Certain health experts think the problem is related to how city handled preventing the spread of AIDS. For instance, Kim Mills of the Whitman-Walker Clinic contends that the city failed to take basic steps in prevention ń by distributing condoms.
Wells is not the only health expert who blames the municipality of Washington DC. Even the D.C. Appleseed Center for Law and Justice agrees that the government has neglected to lead and coordinate the prevention of AIDS in the city. The organization responsible for epidemiology and surveillance states that the city government never monitored the AIDS epidemic properly. According to DC Appleseed 50 percent of the agency's positions are not filled in DC.
More importantly, Appleseed projects that one in 20 residents have HIV in DC and many citizens are unaware they have contracted the virus. With proper education, distribution of condoms, clean needles, and closer monitoring, AIDS can be prevented in Washington DC. An HIV/AIDS test is recommended for any sexually active or drug addicted needle user.