MIAMI (CBSMiami) – An alarming statistic about Miami on World AIDS Day.
“We are number one in the nation for new HIV and AIDs cases,” Mayor Francis Suarez.
Suarez made the announcement Sunday night during a ceremony.
“It’s a day where we can change the narrative going forward,” Suarez said.
Statewide, there were close to 5,000 new HIV cases in 2018. That’s 140 more than the previous year.
Belita Wyatt, who is the CEO of Empower U community health center, is among those trying to help stop HIV from spreading. She says nobody should be ashamed.
“This demonstrates that people don’t judge anymore, we are trying to get over that, come and get the help that you need,” Wyatt said.
State leaders say there are roughly 120-thousand people in Florida living with HIV. To raise awareness at the event in Downtown Miami, the mayor had help from a musical artist who is also a reality TV star.
“I just think it’s so important for everybody by, to get educated on HIV and on AIDS, how it affects people. Even if it’s not affecting you specifically, it could be a family member or whomever. What you can do to be a support system for them,” Amara La Negra said.
A red ribbon is outside the White House in honor of World Aids Day. Since 1988, it has been a day to raise awareness and remember those who have died.
President Trump tweeted in part “we reaffirm our commitment to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in America, community by community where we will eradicate aids in 10 years, program already started.”