AUGUSTA,Ga. (WJBF)- We continue now with a sex education program teaching kids how to put their health first.
The program aims to prove the spread of HIV is not just a big city problem.
In 2017 there were more than 38,000 cases of new HIV diagnoses in the United States. 21% of which were between the ages 13 to 24.
“People think like it won’t happen to me or this happen to someone but it can happen to anyone,” says Daquan Joe, an advocate for the program.
About 2,200 people in Augusta are living with HIV. 333 of them are between the ages of 13-29. Earlier this year the Richmond County Health Department started ‘Project Impact’. The program aims to advocate, educate and empower the community to take ownership of their health.
“We have a lot of young people that when they are positive they can’t talk to their family, they defiantly can’t tell their mom and dad so we make ourselves available,” says Akosua Bempomah-Quarshie the patient care coordinator supervisor.
Project Impact provides prevention and care. it focuses on different ways to push people to know their status to prevent the spread of HIV.
“We like to be open and ask question because if you don’t ask their questions and they’re curios they are going to wan to find out on there own,” says Yhanea Gregory the HIV prevention coordinator:
The goal is to end the spread of HIV by 2030 and enrolling people into care is the second step.
“And once they get into adapt-adapt pays for their medication and then they are set with their medication. but we also have other benefits,” says Bempomah-Quarshie.
Benefits that are in place to help someone who now has to live with HIV.
“So anything that will stop someone from being in care like being homeless or they don’t have no food or transportation we try to eliminate that so that they can stay in care and become undetectable,” continues Bempomah-Quarshie
But all these things can be avoided by getting tested and knowing your status.
“If i’m going to lay down and have sex with you. i need to know. i don’t need to know your history or your life but if I mean if this is something were going to be doing or if that’s your partner you should be comfortable to discuss those type of things,” says Joe.