HIV cases in the valley continue to climb especially among young adults and the elderly population.
The latest numbers are concerning for the only HIV AIDS support organization in the valley.
Lucy Trainor is celebrating her 47th birthday. 19 years ago she was infected with HIV and she’s still kicking. Her tattoos are a reminder of the day she was diagnosed with the virus. Devastating news that had her thinking of death.
“If I make it through the first 24 hours without killing myself then I’ll do everything possible to make myself better” — Lucy Trainor
She says she was not being responsible and felt she had it coming but luckily she found help.
“I found the agency, I found the Doctors, I found the support that was the main thing that I needed.”
Dr. Ruben Martinez who worked with the valley AIDs Council says that what used to be 100 new cases a year for the last 5 years nearly doubled in 2015 alone with 189 people infected.
The growing trends are among teens and more surprisingly, older adults.
“People remain sexual. We have more partners. We are living longer. We have more divorce rates.”
Whatever the factor is, Dr. Martinez stresses that there is hope.
“We don’t have a cure for HIV/AIDS but we have excellent control. In fact it’s a lot easier to control HIV even AIDS than diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, and certain cancers.”
The Valley Aids Council says the key to fighting AIDS is awareness and action. Many who have it don’t know it and by the time they find out, it might be too late to treat.
April is HIV awareness month and Valley Aids Council is encouraging everyone from all walks of life to get tested periodically.
For additional information you can call them at 1-800-333-SIDA