Fri., September 24, 2010 2:15pm (EDT)

HIV Awareness Initiative
By Courtney Ward
Updated: 4 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
The Taking Control Campaign hopes to increase HIV awareness and prevention. (Image courtesy Dona Victorina)
The Taking Control Campaign hopes to increase HIV awareness and prevention. (Image courtesy Dona Victorina)
An initiative to increase awareness and prevention of HIV is underway. The Georgia Department of Community Health will roll out the “Taking Control” campaign over the next year. Officials hope to increase prevention and outreach services for gay and bisexual men.

A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study shows 1 in 5 sexually active gay and bisexual men living in metropolitan areas are HIV-positive – and many don’t know it.

Leisha McKinney-Beach with the department says that the initiative is focused on men because they make up 44 to 61% of HIV infections annually.

“We want to implement some strategies to try to reduce infection rates among men who have sex with men and for those men who are already HIV positive, we want to link them into care and provide secondary prevention so that transmission doesn’t occur," says McKinney-Beach.

The department is also holding a town hall meeting in Atlanta at 6:30 p.m. to involve community members and promote the initiative.