For many people the thought of contracting HIV and developing AIDS fills them with fear. To combat this fear, Grady Hospital in Atlanta instituted the state’s only free testing for any patient who may not know their HIV status. The testing by Grady Hospital has shown some alarming results.
Grady Hospital authorities have confirmed that “By the time patients are diagnosed in Atlanta, almost one-third have advanced to clinical AIDS. When we diagnose patients with HIV, the first time we are telling them they’ve been infected with HIV, we know that among our patients at Grady, nearly half of them have AIDS the day we diagnose them.”
This puts Atlanta as the nation’s fifth largest city with the highest number of newly diagnosed HIV victims. Hardest hit is the Black community with Black men diagnosed at a rate 5.2 times greater than White men and Black women with a rate 12.2 times greater than White women. It takes 8-10 years for HIV to progress to AIDS and 14 percent of people with HIV or AIDS are unaware of their status. In Georgia, the CDC reports that about one third of the people newly diagnosed with AIDS are in the late stage of the disease.