In Loudoun County, Virginia, where Leesburg is, about 6.1 of every 100,000 people live with HIV. That is according to the Virginia Department of Health.
The number for Loudoun County is the lowest in northern Virginia, and the highest is 25.2 per 100,000 people in Alexandria. In Virginia as a whole, about 21,600 people live with HIV.
Unfortunately, the numbers are part of an upward creep. Leesburg is in the D.C. metro area, and D.C., northern Virginia and suburban Maryland are grappling with a local HIV epidemic. The populations most at risk for HIV infection in the D.C. metro area are black women and young, gay or bisexual black men.
Rates for many other STDs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea are trending slightly higher in the D.C. metro area as well. Health officials in the area attribute part of the increase to better screening programs. More people are getting tested and diagnosed, which leads to earlier and more effective treatment.
Health officials in Leesburg say that early detection of HIV and other STDs is critical for successful treatment. They urge sexually active people to get tested regularly.
Loudon County and the D.C. metro area have several clinics that provide low-cost or free STD testing. However, most are in D.C., and if you live in Leesburg, getting to and from D.C. is not always easy.
Closer to Leesburg, your options include the Inova Juniper Program, the Loudoun County Health Department and Walgreens in Aldie. Depending on the site, you may have to make an appointment and prove your income.