Why San Marcos, Texas?
The mission of the Aware Foundation Group is to end HIV transmission, and our ultimate goal is to see a world that’s free of HIV and AIDS. If we have our sights set on the globe, why, then, are we based in San Marcos, Texas of all places, and why do we focus on serving communities in Central Texas?
Great question. Because it’s the Aware Foundation Group’s philosophy that community-level intervention is a hopeful option for ending the HIV and AIDS epidemic. We believe that by helping members of our immediate communities adopt healthy attitudes toward sexual health, we can inspire a ripple effect in other communities and help them build similarly effective programs.
The founding members of the Aware Foundation Group live in San Marcos, which is in Hays County. According to AIDSVu, 180 of every 100,000 Hays County residents were diagnosed with HIV in 2017. In 2018, there were 4,358 new HIV diagnoses in the county. And those statistics don’t take into account the nearby counties of Bastrop, Caldwell, Travis, and Williamson, where the data is equally as devastating, if not worse.
To address the impact that HIV and AIDS have had on our loved ones, neighbors, and friends, we need more grassroots organizations committed to supporting those affected by HIV and AIDS—not only through medical assistance, but through community support and by tackling the social structures underlying the epidemic. To serve that need, we plan to support Hays County and Central Texas by partnering with local organizations and leaders, and by providing medical, educational, and social assistance to citizens who have been affected by the epidemic or are at risk of a positive diagnosis.