HopeHealth Walk Raises AIDS Awareness | Local News


FLORENCECS — AIDS and HIV are on the rise in Pee Dee and the fight against the disease is far from over.

That and a message of hope were front and center Saturday morning at HopeHealth’s annual AIDS Walk, this year at its North Irby Street campus.

The event included health care information, mental health information, balloon animals for children, and a Chik-fil-A lunch box at the end of the walk.

“It is very important to be aware of your HIV and AIDS status; people are still getting infected,” said Tamal Dixon, administrator of HopeHealth’s infectious disease practice.

“It’s not over; it’s far from over. We’re just grateful it’s not a death sentence anymore,” Dixon said. “People can still live their lives to the fullest.”

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But to end AIDS, transmission of the disease must be stopped, Dixon said.

“We are starting to see an increase in the younger generation. Many of us were born long after 1981. The fear factor is gone,” Dixon said.

With the drugs that exist now, the existence of the virus is no longer detectable in the person, Dixon said.

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