HIV infection rates rising among men in Roanoke Valley

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Tuesday, Dec. 1 is a day the community is asked to come together to unite in the fight against AIDS for World AIDS Day.

If HIV is untreated it can mutate into AIDS. Experts said the number of aids cases in the Roanoke Valley are dropping. But, HIV infection rates are rising.

Doctors said specifically they are finding more men are contracting the virus. The director of the Roanoke Drop in Center said more men aren't using protection and they're not getting enough education.

"The young men who are coming along now, don't have a memory of people dying; they were not born yet," said Dr. Thomas Kerkering, a professor of medicine at Virginia Tech Carilion. "So, they're not aware of HIV in that sense where people die."

Doctors further said there are about 1,500 new HIV cases a year in the Commonwealth.

If you would like to show support, the Drop in Center is holding an awareness event Wednesday at Corned Beef starting at 6 p.m.