HIV Summer Camps Rethink Their Identities

Sep 27, 2015
Camp Sunrise in Clinton County has seen a steep decline in enrollment. hiv summer camp
Paula Katz / Camp Sunrise

In the mid 1990s, summer camps for kids affected by the AIDS epidemic sprang up all over the country.

Wikimedia / Creative Commons

Health officials in Dayton are putting their support behind an HIV prevention drug out on the market.   

Once used to treat HIV positive individuals, the drug Truvada was approved by the Food and Drug Administration three years ago as a Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or 'preventative' medicine for people who are HIV negative.

Last year the Centers for Disease Control joined the FDA in their support, now, public health agencies doing the same. 

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state says three organizations have received more than $1 million in federal funds to provide housing assistance and limited case management services for Ohioans with HIV and AIDS.

The Ohio Development Services Agency says the grant winners are: the Community AIDS Network in Portage and Summit counties; COMPASS Family in Mahoning County; and the AIDS Resource Center Ohio. The center will use the funds to provide housing services to those in Athens, Canton, Dayton, Lima, Mansfield, Marion, Toledo and the surrounding counties.

Today is World AIDS Day (WAD), and it’s estimated that more than 20,000 people in Ohio are infected with HIV—about 2000 of those cases are here in the Miami Valley.

In recent years treatment has become more accessible, but successful treatment depends on early detection.  Bill Hardy with AIDS Resource Center Ohio says early detection can mean viral suppression.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

This week, health officials hope to hope to raise awareness about the importance of HIV prevention and education, particularly within the region’s Latino community.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that just four years ago, in 2010, close to 6,700 new HIV infections were detected among Latino populations. 

Citing those national figures, Public Health Dayton and Montgomery County stated, “the largest number of new [HIV] infections among Latino gay and bisexual men occurred among those aged 25 to 34.”

Payne Seminary

The NAACP and Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce have partnered to tackle the issue of HIV and AIDS in the black community. The civil rights organization says its research shows that one in sixteen black men and one in thirty-two black women will contract HIV.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

HIV infection rates are still on the rise in Ohio and across the country. On this 25th annual World AIDS Day, health officials urge testing and education to stop new cases from developing.

17,000 people in Ohio are known to be HIV positive, but that number doesn’t tell the whole story.  It’s estimated that 1 in 5 people with HIV don’t even know they’re infected, so the problem is much worse. 

Thursday, February 7th is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and the Centers for Disease Control say that, although blacks make up just 14% of the national population, they account for about 44% of all new HIV infections.

Here in Ohio, Blacks make up just twelve percent of the population but account for almost half – 49% of all new HIV infections.  So, health organizations around the country, including Ohio, say they’re mobilizing to encourage populations of color to get educated, get tested, get involved, and get treated.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a preventative drug for HIV.  The drug is called Truvada, and though it has been hailed as good news in the fight against HIV / AIDS, says there are some concerns associated with the treatment.  Bill Hardy with AIDS Resource Center Ohio gives us the pros and cons in this ARC update on WYSO's Morning Edition.

For years, the Rubi Girls have entertained local audiences, and audiences around the country. In their twenty years together, it's estimated they've helped raise several hundred thousand dollars for HIV/AIDS prevention and research. We spoke with them recently about their history and the fun they have working for a serious cause. Here's part of that interview.