HIV, AIDS summit sheds light on new treatments and preventions

Hadas Kuznits
June 13, 2018 - 4:23 pm
About 1,200 people attended the 24th annual End AIDS: HIV Prevention and Outreach Summit at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Hadas Kuznits | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — As part of AIDS Education Month, Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers hosted its annual summit to help raise awareness about HIV, AIDS and prevention. 

About 1,200 people attended the 24th annual End AIDS: HIV Prevention and Outreach Summit at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. 

"It's an entire day devoted to workshops around the intersection of HIV and other health issues and social issues that impact people living with HIV and those at risk for HIV," explained Juliet Fink Yates, chief learning officer at Philadelphia FIGHT. "We have workshops on the cure for HIV, faith and spirituality, on hepatitis C and HIV, on aging, on HIV and substance use and the opioid epidemic, on homelessness and housing."

She said part of the goal is to end the stigma associated with HIV and AIDS.

"It is simple a disease just like any other," she said, "and folks living with HIV need the same compassion anybody else does."

Spreading access and awareness is key, too, which includes making sure those with the disease have health care and access to treatment and education in schools.

Treatment for HIV has come a long way since the 1980s. Today, if you've tested negative but you're at high risk, there's a daily pill called PrEP that will prevent you from contracting it.

"Most people don't know about it," Yates said. "That's what we do this summit. That's why we have AIDS Education Month every year, so that we can end stigma and we can make sure that we know the facts."