SAN FRANCISCO has reported an encouraging development in the city’s long waged battle against HIV, with newly released data revealing that infection rates have dropped by a third over a three year period.

These numbers were detailed in the 2016 Epidemiology Report released by the Department of Public Health.

Researchers credit the city’s Getting to Zero initiative with the declining rates and an increase in testing and health awareness. Access to PrEP has played a definite role, with over 6,000 residents taking advantage of the exposure protection medication. People who test HIV positive have also pursued treatment a whole lot faster than in the past.

“The overall picture is very good, with San Francisco heading toward zero on every HIV measure,” Barbara Garcia, the Director of Health, said in a statement.

“However, the data also show significant disparities, affirming our focus on efforts for groups who are not experiencing as much progress.

“Without improvements for these populations, we as a city will not reach zero.”

These disparities were primarily found within African American populations, which experienced no decline in HIV infections. Latino, transgender, and youth demographics also remained vulnerable.

Ed Lee, San Francisco’s mayor, talked up the city’s efforts in combating HIV.

“San Francisco has always been the forefront of HIV/AIDS care and prevention and will continue to lead,” Lee said.

“Our continued efforts to unite policy, science, healthcare and community will help us progress towards a goal of zero.”

The city has allocated $4.3 million in its Getting to Zero campaign, with new investments made to help reduce disparities.

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