Perspective: A WIS Editorial - World AIDS Day

Thursday, December 1, is officially World Aids Day, but events being held through Saturday of this week  to bring attention to this infectious disease problem in our state.  On your screen are some of the local events scheduled. South Carolina still has one of the highest per capita HIV/Aids cases in the nation, and a special emphasis is now being put on our young people between the ages of 13-29 where rates have risen.

State funding for the South Carolina HIV/Aids Council and programs such as Project FAITH have been reduced or eliminated over the past several years, so DHEC and the Council are taking to the streets to inform, test and treat people at risk for this disease.  According to Jane Tapp, director of DHEC's STD/HIV division, early symptoms are hard to detect, and the quicker the diagnosis, the better the odds for staying healthy and preventing further transmission.  Mobile testing vans visit college campuses around the state in an effort to reach young people, and social media and student health care recruits are being used to spread the message.

Our state cannot afford to ignore this significant health problem.   Prevention and education are the best solutions, and the legislature should reconsider funding for both in the future.