Montgomery County’s World AIDS Day Event to Honor ‘Unsung Heroes’ of Health Equity

by Patrick Herron

 “The County’s HIV epidemiological profile shows a need to address underlying racial/ethnic and other health disparities,” said keynote speaker Laurie Anne Sayles, a County Councilmember-elect. “Montgomery County’s Plan to End HIV must be grounded in health equity. This event is an opportunity to celebrate the many unsung heroes working across the county to raise awareness about prevention and treatment. We all play a role in eradicating HIV, and by addressing health disparities, we lay the foundation of ensuring our residents live safe and healthy lives.”

The 2022 Solidarity for Health Equity Awards will celebrate individuals, organizations and networks who were nominated for their work to alleviate racial, ethnic and other health disparities that impede progress and thwart public health efforts.

The event is part of the County’s push to end its HIV epidemic by 2030 after being named a priority jurisdiction for the Federal Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative in 2020. Dec. 1 marks two years since the public release of A Plan to End HIV in Montgomery County, which outlines strategies to reduce new HIV transmissions by 90 percent in 10 years.

To support Ending the HIV Epidemic efforts, County residents are encouraged to:

  • Get tested for HIV, even if they do not think they are at risk.
  • Seek treatment for HIV if they test positive. With successful treatment, people living with HIV can live long, healthy lives and prevent transmission of HIV to others.
  • Ask healthcare providers about Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), the HIV prevention medication, to reduce risk of HIV.
  • Learn the facts about HIV and talk with partners, family and friends about it.
  • Fight HIV stigma by showing support and compassion for people living with HIV.
  • The World AIDS Day Solidarity for Health Equity breakfast will also be livestreamed at https://worldaidsdaymc.org/.

Free or low-cost HIV testing, treatment and prevention services are available from the HIV Services program, which is part of the County’s Department of Health and Human Services.

Call 240-777-1760 for more information.

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