AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Doctors at AU Health say Richmond County has one of the highest rates of HIV cases, per capita, in the state of Georgia. Since December is AIDS Awareness Month, they urge people to be aware of the disease.

“We see a sizable number of them here at Augusta University, we have our own facility for HIV infected persons,” AU Health Infectious Disease Center Dr. Rodger McArthur said.

Dr. McAurthur works with patients who have the disease. 

“It’s no longer considered to be, and it hasn’t been for a while, a death sentence. Which is really, really good news.”

Once someone gets the disease, there are medications to help them live with it, but these steps must be taken every single day.

“It requires just one pill, it’s got multiple drugs in it, one pill– well tolerated– once a day. With meals, without meals,” Dr. McArthur said.

AU Health’s Infectious Disease Clinic provides resources to educate the community on AIDS and its impact.

“Basically, be safe and realize that HIV, especially if you catch it early, is very treatable,” Dr. McArthur said.

If you need to get tested or simply want to learn more information, click here.