AIDS, HIV rates in Washington, D.C. surpass West Africa

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nearly 3,000 of every 100,000 residents in Washington, D.C. over the age 12 have HIV or AIDS.

A recent report from the George Washington University School of Health and Health Services said it only takes 1 percent to reach a "generalized and severe" epidemic. The report shows the leading method of transmitting HIV/AIDS remains men having sex with men, followed by heterosexual sex and injection drug use.

Shannon Hader, director of D.C.'s HIV/AIDS Administration, told The Washington Post the district's rates are higher than West Africa.

Jeff Johnston, gender and issues analyst for Focus on the Family, said that the nearly 30 years of throwing more money and education at the problem has not worked.  

"This is a call to the church that they need to be ministering to these issues, teaching God's truth about His intention for sexuality—monogamy within marriage between a man and a woman," Johnston said. "In addition, this is an opportunity for the church in D.C. to reach out in practical ways to those who have contracted HIV/AIDS."

The report also admits the actual number of people currently infected and living with HIV is unknown and certainly higher than the report indicates.

EP