MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama’s high rate of HIV infections has the federal government wanting to step in. Friday, the director from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came to Alabama to help solve this problem.
The state says one out of 6 people with HIV in Alabama don’t know they have the infection.
The CDC wants to help Alabama stop HIV from spreading as Alabama is one of seven states that the U.S. government said needs help stopping HIV from spreading.
The CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield talked with Alabama leaders Friday saying they are going to be starting some initiatives to combat HIV in the state.
Now we’re talking specifically about rural areas where the government says the disease is spreading at a high rate compared to most states.
The CDC says to stop it from spreading, there needs to be teams that can go into rural communities and encourage people to get diagnosed and treated.
“I’ve said this before, the true enemy of public health is stigma. When you’re trying to deal with HIV in rural America, stigma is even a greater issue," said Redfield. "So we’re looking to the state of Alabama and all of you who are working together to begin to come up with innovative, effective, approaches that can impact HIV.”
President Donald Trump is requesting at least $290 million to fight HIV in the country.
A map showing the seven states receiving the extra help shows they are all located in the Southeastern part of the country. In these states at least 10 percent of HIV diagnoses are in rural areas.
The government says it has a goal to reduce new HIV infections by 75 percent in five years.