TAMPA, Fla. — Editor's note: Video above is from 2019.
Do you know your status?
In acknowledgment of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, the Pinellas County Department of Health is encouraging people to consider getting tested for HIV.
"We encourage anyone older than 13 regardless of risk to get tested at least once for HIV/AIDS," said Darius Lightsey, HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator (HAPC) at DOH-Pinellas. "It will take a community effort to reduce our rates, and it all starts with education and testing."
A person who knows their status goes a long way toward staying healthy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. In Florida, that's especially important because the state ranks No. 2 in the U.S. for the highest rates of HIV diagnoses per 100,000 people.
The CDC recommends everyone between 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once, and anyone at higher risk should get tested once a year, FDOH says.
In November, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor signed an executive order that made Tampa the second Florida city to join a network of more than 350 cities "committed to ending their urban HIV epidemics by 2030."