South Florida's HIV Epidemic As World AIDS Day Approaches

A World AIDS Day Vigil and Remembrance Walk will take place tomorrow evening in Wilton Manors' Hagen Park.

It's a stark reminder that while there are more treatments and preventative measures that ever including pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP, "people need to not feel comfortable about this disease, it's not over yet," stresses CAN Community Health Medical Director Dr. Vilma Vega.

Miami-Dade and Broward Counties continue to lead the nation with the highest rate of new HIV diagnoses.

She attributes that to multiple factors including our population and the fact that people from around the world move here.

Dr. Vega On HIV/AIDS In SoFla

Dr. Vega says everyone - no matter what age, race or sexual orientation - should be tested  because no one is immune.

Even the elderly have to be concerned because, "people have gone back into the world of dating, and they're as active in their 70s as they were in their 30s, and we need to realize that these patients are at risk."

When it comes to cost, treating HIV/AIDS can be expensive, but Dr. Vega says there are options for patients including services through health departments and non-profit clinics and grant programs through the state.

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