Aug 31, 2022 - News

Detroit HIV clinic's new mural makes a statement

This mural in Detroit represents progress on the HIV epidemic
A mural titled “The Key to Ending the HIV Epidemic” on the Wayne Health building in Midtown. Photo: Annalise Frank/Axios

A local artist made an STD clinic a colorful, nature-imbued mural that represents progress on the HIV epidemic.

Why it matters: Demetruis Green, the Detroit Public Health STD Clinic's coordinator for HIV prevention medication PrEP, painted the mural last month on the Wayne Health building that houses the city clinic at 50 E. Canfield St., per Wayne State.

  • Detroit's rate of residents living with HIV is about four times that of Michigan's. But there's progress in treatment and prevention to be hopeful about, and the mural aims to reflect that.

Between the lines: Drawn prominently is the phrase "PrEP works." The drug reduces the risk of contracting the virus from sex by about 99%, per the CDC.

  • Yet just about a quarter of those eligible take it due to factors like cost, lack of awareness and stigma.

By the numbers: For every 100,000 Michigan residents, 174 live with HIV as of 2020, per state data.

  • That same figure is 711 for Detroit and a couple neighboring cities.

Yes, but: The number of people getting infected, or transmission rate, has slowed to around three new statewide diagnoses in 2020 per every 100 people living with HIV.

  • That ratio was 100 new diagnoses per 100 people living with HIV in the 1980s as the virus spread rapidly.
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