Metro Orlando in top 5 places for new HIV cases in country, officials say

VIDEO: Metro Orlando in top 5 places for new HIV cases in country, officials say

ORLANDO, Fla. — The pandemic has grabbed the world’s attention, but another illness is hitting Central Florida hard.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the Orlando metro area is in the top five places in the country for new cases of HIV.

Because COVID-19 has taken up so much of the Department of Health’s time, leaders say they have a new focus on fighting HIV.

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That’s why one of the reasons they’re getting to work here on two testing strategies, one at home and one in the hospital.

Officials are basically recommending anyone over the age of 13 get tested, and anyone with an increased risk for infection be tested once a year.

Health officials say 7 out of 10 people with HIV have been sick enough to go to the emergency room more than once before they’re ever diagnosed.

The Area 7 HIV program of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County is now offering free at-home HIV testing kits to Central Florida.

Residents of Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Brevard counties can request a kit by visiting the Talk Test Treat Central Florida website.