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Montgomery County Unveils Ambitious Plan to End HIV Epidemic by 2030; Hosts World AIDS Day Virtual Town Hall December 1

For Immediate Release: Friday, November 20, 2020

County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles will headline a virtual town hall about HIV in Montgomery County on December 1, World AIDS Day. Montgomery County was named a priority jurisdiction for the federal Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative, and plans to reduce new HIV transmissions by 90 percent by 2030 by: 

  • Increasing testing in healthcare and community-based settings so that more residents know their HIV status.
  • Ensuring every person living with HIV in Montgomery County is connected to healthcare and other services they need in order to stay healthy and prevent transmission to others.
  • Increasing access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) HIV prevention medication and other prevention tools and education.
  • Fine-tuning the County’s ability to respond to HIV outbreaks in the community.

The World AIDS Day virtual town hall discussion, hosted by the Montgomery County Health and Human Services (DHHS), Public Health Services, will explore the County’s Ending the HIV Epidemic plan and highlight the racial and gender equity issues that characterize the epidemic.  Panelists include Melvin Cauthen, DHHS administrator for HIV/STI services; Connor Hegel, LGBTQ services navigator for Sexual Minority Youth Assistance Leagues (SMYAL), a D.C. based organization; and Ronald Johnson, LGBTQ Democrats of Montgomery County.

The town hall discussion will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, December 1.  Register at

To support Ending the HIV Epidemic efforts, county residents are encouraged to:

  • Get tested for HIV, even if they do not think they are at risk.
  • Seek treatment for HIV if they test positive- with successful treatment, people living with HIV can live long, healthy lives and prevent transmission of HIV to others.
  • Ask their healthcare provider about Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), the HIV prevention medication, to reduce risk of HIV.
  • Learn the facts about HIV and talk with partners, family and friends about it.
  • Fight HIV stigma by showing support, respect and compassion for people living with HIV.

Free and low-cost HIV testing, treatment or prevention services is available to county residents.  Call the HIV-STI program at 240-777-1869 for more information.

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Media Contact: Emily Brown, 240-773-1172

Release ID: 20-725
Media Contact: Emily Brown 240-773-1172