FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 20, 2020
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is seeking stakeholder input on the state’s ongoing commitment to prevent the spread of HIV.
As part of the “End the Epidemics SC” initiative — which is a statewide campaign launched in the fall of 2017 to help stop the intersecting epidemics of HIV, STDs, viral hepatitis and substance use disorder — DHEC is asking individuals living with HIV, caregivers, social workers, medical professionals and advocates to take part in a series of online forums geared at identifying any gaps or barriers that exist in delivering HIV prevention and care services in South Carolina.
"In 2019, South Carolina was selected to be part of a new national strategy to end the HIV epidemic in the United States by 2030,” said Ali Mansaray, Director of DHEC's STD, HIV, and Viral Hepatitis Division. “We’re working to expand access to HIV testing, treatment, and prevention services across the state, and input from informed stakeholders like we’re seeking through these virtual forums is a critical part of ability to meet this goal.”
The online forums are hosted by DHEC and the S.C. HIV Planning Council on various dates between August 26 through early November, and the discussions and input will be used to develop an Ending the HIV Epidemic Plan, a component of the overall Ending the Epidemics SC initiative.
“During these virtual meetings, we also hope to hear first-hand about successful interventions that could be expanded or replicated to achieve our goal of ending the epidemic in our state,” Mansaray said.
To learn more about upcoming forums or to participate, contact Dr. Felicia M. Pickering at 803-904-2606 or PickerFM@dhec.sc.gov.
To learn more about the End the Epidemics SC initiative visit schpc.org/events or visit DHEC’s STD, HIV and Viral Hepatitis Division at scdhec.gov/stdhiv.