Jackson has 4th highest rate of HIV infection in nation - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson has 4th highest rate of HIV infection in nation

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The City of Jackson has the fourth highest rate of HIV infection in the nation.

While there is no cure for the virus, medical professionals say talking about the problem and explaining how testing works is the best way to get cities like Jackson off of this list. In 2008, the Center of Disease Control estimated nearly 2,000 people were living in Mississippi that didn't know they were HIV positive. That number dropped to about 1,400 people in 2014.

According to My Brother's Keeper Environmental and Policy Change Manger, Deja Abdul-Haqq, the 30 percent decrease comes from more people getting tested.

"It's really quick, like 20 minutes," Abdul-Haqq said. "You get a swab, get your results. I know at Open Arms, it's part of the 'Becoming a Healthier You' Program, so testing is free. You come in to get tested, swab, wait 20 minutes, results. Simple as that."

Abdul-Haqq says Open Arms Healthcare Center in Jackson diagnoses around 6,000 people a year with HIV in the Metro. Within the first few weeks of getting the virus, some felt flu-like symptoms, then no symptoms at all.

The CDC says the number of newly diagnosed HIV cases dropped by 18 percent from 2008 to 2014. The biggest drop in numbers coming from heterosexuals and people who inject drugs.

Overall, it's estimated that 10,050 Mississippians have HIV and one in eight people do not know they have it.

You can learn more about HIV testing on Open Arms Healthcare Center's website.

Copyright 2017 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly