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Online Mapping Tool Shows Where HIV Infections Are Prevalent

This Saturday is National AIDS Testing Day.

An Emory University professor is the lead researcher for a free, online mapping tool that helps people understand where there are the most HIV infections and where they can get tested.

Florida has one of the nation’s highest HIV infection rates. Jacksonville residents — and people anywhere in the U.S. — can use a free online map tool called AIDSVu to find out about infection rates in their ZIP code. Emory University epidemiologist Patrick Sullivan says the Centers for Disease Control recommend regular HIV testing for all adults.

Sullivan said, “Sometimes just seeing the maps and how HIV affects our communities helps people understand why that’s an important step for them to take.”

AIDSVu maps also read the user’s location and can direct him to the nearest HIV testing center.

AIDSVu is a project of Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health in partnership with Gilead Sciences, Inc.

Corrected: A previous version of this story said Dr. Sullivan created the AIDSVu map. He is instead the project's lead researcher.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP