County Will Discuss Plans to End HIV Epidemic at Virtual Town Hall on World AIDS Day

Montgomery County is working to end the HIV epidemic by 2030 and will discuss its plans during a virtual town hall on Dec. 1 which is World AIDS Day.

The county was named a priority jurisdiction for the federal Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative and plans to reduce new HIV transmissions by 90% by 2030.

To achieve this goal, the county will increase testing in healthcare and community-based settings so that more residents know their HIV status and ensure everyone living with HIV in the county is connected to a healthcare and other services to stay healthy and prevent transmission of the disease. The county also intends to increase access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis HIV prevention and medication and education tools and fine-tune its ability to respond to outbreaks.

County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles will speak during the Dec. 1 virtual town hall, which is hosted by Montgomery County Health and Human Services (DHHS), Public Health Services. Panelists include Melvin Cauthen, DHHS administrator for HIV/STI services; Connor Hegel, LGBTQ services navigator for Sexual Minority Youth Assistance Leagues (SMYAL), a D.C. based organization; and Ronald Johnson, LGBTQ Democrats of Montgomery County.

The town hall will be held from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 1. Register here.

Residents are encouraged to get tested and seek treatment if they are HIV positive. Free and low-cost HIV testing, treatment or prevention services is available to county residents.

Call the HIV-STI program at 240-777-1869 for information.

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About Suzanne Pollak

Suzanne is a freelance reporter with Montgomery Community Media. She has over 35 years professional experience writing for newspapers, magazines, non-profit newsletters and the web.

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