RICHMOND, Va. — World AIDS Day is recognized on Thursday for communities across the globe to unite in the fight against HIV and remember those lost to HIV-related illnesses.
Dr. Vivian Bruzzese has worked and treated HIV patients for 30 years, and has served as HIV program director at Crossover Healthcare Ministry for 25 of those years.
She said her passion and purpose is providing care to the under-insured, uninsured and stigmatized groups.
It’s vital to get tested and know your status, Bruzzese advised.
“If we are able to have more people aware of their status and treated, we can really decrease the number of people who are affected and infected worldwide. It’s really a global pandemic,” Bruzzese explained.
According to AIDSVu.org, there were more than 24,000 people living with HIV in Virginia in 2020. That same year, 628 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in the state.
Public data revealed 861 of every 100,000 people living in the City of Richmond have been diagnosed with the infection.
In Henrico, that number is 354 of every 100,000 people; in Chester, 242 of every 100,000; in Hanover, 134 of every 100,000; and in Petersburg, 1,420 of every 100,000 people are living with HIV.
Testing for HIV and other STD’s is available at local health departments, clinics and pharmacies through Central Virginia.
To find the closest testing center to you, click here
EAT IT, VIRGINIA restaurant news and interviews