The Disease that Infests The District

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The Disease that Infests The District There is a disease that is sweeping across this country. From this disease, no one person has immunity. It strikes the poorest of families and the richest of families. It has the ability to harm the old and young, male and female. It does not care what your sexual preference is, if it wants to infect you, it will. What is this disease that does not care who it harms? It is the acquired immune deficiency syndrome, better known as AIDS. Even the capital of the most powerful country in the world has a problem with AIDS. In fact, Washington, DC has a major problem with this disease. The rate of new AIDS cases in the District and its surrounding areas is twelve times higher than the national average. “By the end of 1998, […] there are 19,086 cases of AIDS in the DC greater metro area and 10,750 deaths from the disease (Whitman-Walker Clinic). One of the groups that is most heavily affected by this disease in Washington, DC as well as across the country is homosexual men, though in recent years that trend seems to be changing. It is for this reason that concern was growing in the District about the AIDS problem amongst the homosexual community. This is where the Whitman-Walker Clinic steps in. Located in the Northwest area of Washington, DC, this clinic has been serving the community as early as 1973. The clinic has an array of services mainly for the homosexual population that include testing for HIV and AIDS, support groups, legal services, the list goes on and on. One of the major aspects of the Whitman-Walker Clinic is providing prevention education to those who have not yet contracted the disease. One of the divisions ... ... middle of paper ... ...ed their services to different areas not just here in The District. Primary care clinics are also located in Northern Virginia and most recently Maryland. “One of the biggest things we just accomplished was expanding primary care to a new Maryland facility. Every here [at the Whitman-Walker Clinic] is happy to see it happen, notes Chip Lewis. The hours that the clinic is open is also changing. “We realize that people have lives outside of having HIV and AIDS. We are working to expand the hours that all of our clinics are open. Convenience is always an issue; we want to serve as many people as possible” (Chip Lewis) It is about time that “as many people as possible” are being provided with service to combat AIDS, because too many people have been neglected from services for too long simply because they did not fit the nation’s stereotype of who contracted AIDS.

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