For years, Miami-Dade has led the nation with some of the highest HIV transmission rates. Ashley Cason, Ending the HIV Epidemic community ambassador, spoke about what's fueling this issue, and resources that can help
The organization works to raise awareness regarding the impacts HIV has had on the South Florida community. Cason says there are about 27,000 people in Miami-Dade living with HIV. The ultimate goal is to reduce the number of new cases of HIV within the next five years.
Over her 10 years working as a community ambassador, Cason says she's seen how stigmas affect the way people think about the disease. Several people think it doesn't exist, while others think it can be passed through kissing.
"Sometimes it can be difficult to share the correct knowledge, and the correct education, and to even get people tested, because of what so many people have believed about HIV over the past 30 years," she says.
Knowing your status is extremely important, not only for your health but the health of your partner. Getting tested together and having an open conversation surrounding the topic can save lives by reducing the spread of HIV.
PrEP, which stands for Pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a pill you can take once a day to prevent contraction of HIV/AIDS. Condoms also protect against STD's. People can go on TestMiami.org for more information.