MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The number of AIDS cases in the Memphis area is sky high. In fact, a recent report stated the Memphis area boasts one of the highest rates of HIV cases in the country.
Many are trying to address the problem, and met at a local AIDS conference at Le Bonheur Methodist Hospital.
Applying lessons learned from the International AIDS Conference in July, Dorcas Young is hopeful the deadly statistic can be reversed.
“After each of those workshops we'll have a local panel to discuss how we can do things here locally. Things that may have happened in Thailand, how can we do that in North Memphis?” said Young, Program Manager of Shelby County’s HIV Program.
The Memphis area boasts the fifth highest rate of HIV cases in the nation.
Jennifer Marshall of Choices, a reproductive health center, describes who's being infected as, “Increasingly younger folks: people under 24. Women. Men that have sex with men. And even our senior population so people over 55.”
In July, scientists at The International AIDS Conference dropped a bombshell.
“We now know how to end the epidemic, it's now just finding the will and resources to do it,” said Victor Barnes of AIDS United.
Barnes says we are inching closer to the creation of an AIDS vaccination. Even though it is still years away, it's proof there is light at the end of the tunnel.
In the meantime the fight against AIDS remains with those on the front lines.
“So we know that the epidemic here is not going away and we know that it's becoming more serious. So I think from the International AIDS Conference we can learn from other countries, other cities, things they've put in place, how they worked together to really tackle HIV and AIDS,” Young said.
Young says churches are helping raise awareness about AIDS and helping those infected get treatment.