San Diego County residents living with HIV/AIDS may soon have better resources available to them as the County Board of Supervisors took the next step in approving a proposed plan to eradicate the disease.
Officials formally approved “Getting to Zero,” a County initiative aimed at eradicating HIV/AIDS in San Diego. Tuesday, the board approved the recommendations, which will help create comprehensive policy to better align programs and partners through the County.
Officials estimate approximately 20,000 people live with HIV/AIDS in San Diego County and of those, approximately 2,300 are not aware of their HIV/AIDS status.
“Along with regular testing good care, this will mean we can absolutely stop the spread of the disease and as our chairman said, relegate this to the history bin,” San Diego City Council member Todd Gloria said.
The Board also heard an update on the Alzheimer’s Project, a plan to update and improve care for patients suffering from the disease and find a cure.
County and health care system across San Diego will start adopting a new standard of diagnosing patients who may have Alzheimer’s or dementia. The County says 60,000 people and their families are dealing with Alzheimer's or some form of dementia.
County Supervisor Dianne Jacob believes this is one of the first initiatives around the country in caring for people with these symptoms.
“But we have a new tool and this critical new tool, physicians will be able to identify patients with dementia faster and help them get the resources they need,” Jacob said. “This is great news for families who are worried sick about their loved ones.”
Combined, 80,000 people across the County are affected by HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s and dementia, County officials said.