DC Health released its annual report on HIV, sexually transmitted infections, hepatitis, and tuberculosis surveillance for the District on Monday, February 7.
The report, which came out on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, indicated the city’s increasing efforts in its fight against the HIV epidemic.
According to this year’s HIV report:
- The number of newly diagnosed HIV cases in DC dropped to 217 cases in 2020, a decline of 23 percent from 282 cases in 2019 and 85 percent from the peak of 1,374 cases in 2007.
- There were zero babies born with HIV in 2020, a decline from two babies born with HIV in 2019.
- The number of newly diagnosed HIV cases due to injection drug use decreased by 99 percent from 150 cases in 2007, prior to the scale up of DC’s needle exchange program, to 1 cases in 2020.
- 12,161 current residents in the District, or 1.7 percent of the population, are living with HIV; Black and Latino residents with HIV exceeded their respective populations, with Black residents disproportionately impacted at 2.8 percent.
- There were 5,956 cases of chlamydia, 3,593 cases of gonorrhea, and 234 cases of primary and secondary syphilis reported in 2020.
- There were 874 people with newly reported hepatitis C in 2020.
“Progress in science and health have provided us the tools we need to end the HIV epidemic, and we are focused on making sure Washingtonians know where and how they can access the resources and treatment they need to live healthy lives,” Bowser said in a statement. “DC Health has worked with community organizations and health care providers to make testing, including free at-home testing, widely available.”
DC’s measures against the spread of HIV include a 24/7 hotline that was launched last year. Through the hotline — (202) 299-3PEP (3737) — residents who may have possibly been exposed to HIV are able to learn how to access Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP).
Another action DC Health took against HIV over the past two years was making free rapid HIV test kits available.