Of every 100,000 people living in Greene County, 110 people are living with HIV. That is a 93 HIV Prevalence Rate (HIV Prevalence is the rate of diagnosed cases of HIV for people 13 years and older per 100,000 population).
As Beavercreek is the largest city in Greene County, this rate is alarming to both city officials and residents.
Even more startling is the fact that over 70 percent of the population have never been tested for HIV or other STDs such as Chlamydia, Syphilis, and Gonorrhea.
Worse still is the fact that data shows that these rates are continually rising each year.
One in five people are living with HIV and don’t know it, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
Further exacerbating the rise in HIV and STD cases in Greene County is the sudden increase in intravenous drug use in the county. The Ohio Department of Health reports that the share of new HIV cases attributed to injecting drugs grew from 7% in 2015 to 13% in 2017.
Although syringe exchange programs, where sterile needles and syringes are exchanged for used ones, have been expanded, the rates continue to rise.
A number of agencies have stepped up and implemented aggressive campaigns to tackle these issues. These include educational efforts, free condoms, and even free STD testing. Unfortunately, availability and convenience are extremely limited often times include long wait periods.
Many public testing centers are available in Beavercreek, as well as throughout Greene County.