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	Arrow Valleywise Health Marks HIV/AIDS Awareness Month

Valleywise Health Marks HIV/AIDS Awareness Month

State data shows increase in new diagnoses over previous year

Dec. 20, 2023 – As the Arizona Department of Health Services marks a 20% increase in new HIV diagnoses in 2022, Valleywise Health continues to provide welcoming, affirming care for those newly diagnosed and those living with HIV/AIDS.

“Too many stigmas and too many myths related to HIV still remain,” shared Ann Khalsa, AAHIVS, MD, clinic medical director at Valleywise Community Health Center – McDowell. “For decades, Valleywise Health has been committed to compassionate care, using the most up-to-date treatments and protocols available.”

Valleywise Community Health Center – McDowell, located on Central Avenue near downtown Phoenix, helps primarily underserved populations who are most impacted by the rising rates of HIV and AIDS. The clinic is the only location in Maricopa County where patients can access support to pay for their care through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program.

“We’re not surprised by the rise in HIV diagnoses in Arizona – providers in our clinic have seen a similar trend,” Dr. Khalsa added. “More people are getting tested today, thanks in part to testing becoming a standard component of unrelated appointments. But what too many still don’t understand is there are many options for both prevention and treatment. Anyone who is sexually active should advocate for themselves with their health care provider, get tested regularly and use PrEP, which are daily pills that can prevent HIV in 99% of cases when taken as directed.”

Today, there are nearly 20,000 people in Arizona living with HIV or AIDS. Thanks to Arizona’s strong commitment to care, most of those newly diagnosed were connected to care less than one month after diagnosis. Early treatment is critical in halting progress of the disease and limiting further spread.

Opened in 1989, Valleywise Community Health Center – McDowell was the first and only Maricopa County clinic dedicated to treating HIV patients. The need was great at that time, as AIDS was rampant and treatment options limited. Today, HIV is highly treatable, and the clinic ensures thousands of patients a year are connected to the compassionate medical care they need.

Patients seeking an appointment can visit ValleywiseHealth.org or call 1 (833) VLLYWSE (1-833-855-9973).

About Valleywise Health 

Located in Phoenix, Arizona and named one of the 100 Top Hospitals in the nation by IBM Watson Health in 2020, Valleywise Health (formerly Maricopa Integrated Health System) has a proud tradition of being the community safety net health care system with a mission and commitment to serving the underserved. Valleywise Health consists of Valleywise Health Medical Center, Arizona’s only public teaching hospital, Level 1 trauma center with ability to treat adults and children and Arizona’s only nationally verified Burn Center serving the entire Southwestern United States. Other services include primary HIV care at the McDowell and Peoria health centers, the Refugee Women’s Health Clinic, three behavioral health centers and 11 community health centers. To learn more, please visit ValleywiseHealth.org

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