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SC & NC Health Departments join forces

Partnering to combat HIV Epidemic

COLUMBIA—On July 8, health officials and researches from North and South Carolina met to discuss the collaborative effort to end the HIV epidemic that is going on in both states. 

The new acronym of the joint task force is CUE-HIV that stands for Carolinas United to End HIV. The partnership includes the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the Mecklenburg County Health Department (NC), the University of South Carolina, the Medical University of South Carolina, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Center for AIDS Research. 

CUE-HIV has made it their mission to reduce the number of incident HIV in the Carolinas by 75 percent within five years. The long-term plan for the program is to reduce the incident HIV cases by 90 percent within ten years. 

The CUE-HIV collaboration was created after a recognition that the spread of infectious disease does not stop at state borders, especially in the modern era of social media and on-line dating resources. The joint effort across the Carolinas will particularly focus on identifying and targeting cross-state networks. The CUE-HIV believes that many residents of rural areas are traveling into bigger cities or crossing state lines to meet with potential partners. 

The CUE-HIV released a mission statement to the public following the joint meeting.

“CUE-HIV is an interstate collaborative created to address the disproportionate HIV burden in the Carolinas driven by our states’ unique intersection of stigma, poverty, and limited resource allocation. Our initiative employs a multifaceted strategy designed to promote awareness, decrease stigma, expand funding, and improve resource availability with one ultimate goal: ending the HIV epidemic in the Carolinas. We believe that our united front will prove far more impactful than the sum of our individual parts.” 

For more information on the CUE-HIV or on the HIV disease itself, visit the schdec.gov website, or the ncdhhs.gov website. Both sites offer educational services and testing locations. 

By Samuel Robinson

Sam.robinson@tryondailybulletin.com