The City of Miami Beach, Care Resource and the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have teamed with numerous community partners in organizing a large-scale public health initiative in Miami Beach to increase voluntary HIV testing so that every resident has the opportunity to learn his or her HIV status and gain access to education, quality care and prevention.
Four free public health events seeking to increase voluntary HIV testing in the City of Miami-Beach are scheduled throughout May. Other health events will be held 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on May 10th in Lummus Park, May 18th at North Shore Open Space Park and May 28th at Miami Beach City Hall.
Attending the health initiative on May 28th is Dr. Robert Gallo. Dr. Gallo is an eminent scientist who co-discovered HIV as the cause of AIDS and developed the HIV blood test in 1984. He is currently the founder and director of the IHV, established to create and develop a world-class center of excellence focusing on chronic viral diseases, especially HIV/AIDS and virally-linked cancers. At 5:30 p.m., he and Robert Gray, a member of the Institute of IHV advisory board, will be recognized at Miami Beach City Hall by Miami Beach Commissioner Micky Steinberg.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 125,000 people in Florida are believed to be living with HIV. Moreover, Miami-Dade County is ranked number one in the nation with the highest number of new AIDS cases per capita and second in the nation with the number of children with AIDS.
These four health events are an opportunity for the Miami Beach community to unite, become more educated about HIV and AIDS, better guard their health, and minimize the impact of living with the virus. Early detection, tracking of referrals, and the linkage and retention of prevention/care is critical to HIV management and reducing/stopping the spread of the virus.