HIV cases climb in Kentucky city, more screenings offered

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HIV cases climb in Kentucky city, more screenings offered

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Health officials in Kentucky’s largest city say an increase in HIV cases has led the agency to offer more screenings and prevention measures.

The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness also urged local health care providers on Thursday to start conducting HIV testing as a routine part of medical care.

There have been 126 people diagnosed with HIV in the first five months of 2021, Louisville health officials said in a statement. Twenty-four of those cases were diagnosed in May, which is the most recent data available, officials said. The average number of cases annually from 2017 to 2020 was 144.

“We urge all sexually active individuals to get tested for HIV and request that physicians include HIV screening as a part of regular care,” said Dr. SarahBeth Hartlage, associate medical director for the Department of Public Health and Wellness.

Health officials said preventative measures include routine testing, practicing safe sex and not sharing needles or other drug injection equipment.

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