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Resources to help fight the HIV epidemic

Treatment research goes on, in hopes of one day finding a cure.

WASHINGTON — This month marks 40 years since the CDC issued its first warning about a mystery illness that attacked patients' immune systems.

It quickly turned into the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Fifteen years passed before researchers developed effective treatments to stop this disease from being a death sentence.

Now what was an HIV drug cocktail has been cut down to one daily pill.

"If you are undetectable, because you take you medication every day, you are untransmissable." 

A related mission for these local organizations: Heart to Hand, Safeway Pharmacies, and La Clinica Is to identify those most at risk of contracting HIV. 

Because now, there's PREP. That stands for Preexposure Prophylaxis. That means there is one daily pill to prevent HIV.

Despite these much-improved medical tools, our local providers still encounter hurdles getting people to open up about their HIV status and risk.

Experts want conversations about HIV to sound and feel more like a discussion about any medical condition, and they want everyone to have access to testing and treatment no matter their circumstances.

Through their work, local organizations like La Clinica and Heart to Hand hope to give clients the support they need to make a stand against for their health, especially women.

Peer counselor Shante says this is where her journey with HIV has led her.

"I'm just simply showing up in my true authenticity and I find that the world embraces me more just me being me, and I'm enjoying being that," she said.

To learn more about the organizations involved, visit:

Heart to Hand

La Clinica

Safeway Pharmacies

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