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The HIV diagnosis rate in Mecklenburg County has returned to pre-pandemic levels

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Mecklenburg County
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HIV infection rates in Mecklenburg County have returned to their pre-pandemic levels of 29.3 individuals per 100,000.

The HIV diagnosis rate in Mecklenburg County has returned to its pre-pandemic level of 29.3 people per 100,000. Monica Allen, the county’s director of strategic planning and evaluation, told commissioners Tuesday that there was an “artificial” decrease in 2021 because of testing limitations caused by lockdowns and social distancing. Still, she says there were some successes during the pandemic.

"The HIV outreach team implemented an in-home HIV testing initiative. Staff began offering HIV STI screenings at Johnson Wales University during the month of October in that fiscal year, and that was a new testing site," Allen said. "And then HIV testing was provided to 474 individuals in substance abuse centers. So they were trying to find various ways to outreach to these different populations."

Also last year, the county opened a new clinic to provide more testing for sexually transmitted infections including HIV.

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Sarah Delia covers criminal justice and the arts for WFAE. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.