StopHIVATL Responds to Increased Fentanyl-Related Deaths With Life-Saving Services

Atlanta, GA, February 15, 2023StopHIVATL is an Atlanta-based non-profit consortium dedicated to providing underserved communities with the tools to enhance sexual health and harm reduction awareness. As an organization, StopHIV seeks to address the lack of awareness and access to resources about fentanyl-related incidents affecting those with relationships to substances in Georgia. 

The world has witnessed a steady increase in opioid-involved overdose deaths. The presence of fentanyl in substances has worsened this crisis. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that, when manufactured illicitly, can be up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, according to the CDC. In Georgia alone, deaths caused by fentanyl-laced drug overdoses spiked by 800% in adolescents ages 10-19, the Georgia Department of Public Health notes in a report on adolescent opioid use

The fentanyl-related overdose crisis is not a phenomenon unique to Georgia. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC reported that overdose deaths across the nation increased by half as much in 2021 as in 2020—fentanyl being the leading drug that triggered overdoses. In fact, U.S. life expectancy has declined to its lowest level since 1996 due partly to the influx of overdoses in the nation. 

Fatal overdoses among those with relationships with substances can be prevented with access to the correct resources. That is why StopHIVATL has launched a series of projects to ensure communities engaging in drug usage have the tools for safer experiences. Below are some of the initiatives spearheaded by StopHIVATL:

  • Through a partnership with the Atlanta Harm Coalition, individuals can order free test strips to test substances for fentanyl. The link to order test strips can be found here
  • The organization expects to launch a syringe distribution project in the near future to help those with relationships to substances have clean supplies. 
  • StopHIVATL makes access to sexual health resources and information easier. These resources include HIV testing, pre-exposure preventative treatment (including PrEP)

StopHIVATL’s mission is centered on helping disproportionately affected communities use these harm-reducing tools to engage in safer drug use. 

About StopHIVATL: StopHIVATL is an organization based on promoting harm reduction, sexual health, sex positivity, and health engagement. They provide inclusive, zero-judgment information and resources on sexual health, drug user safety, Mpox, community events and more. The testing, prevention (PrEP), and treatment resources StopHIVATL refer to interested parties are always confidential, secure and accessible to those living in Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb, and Cobb Counties. 

Want to learn more about StopHIVATL’s mission and services? Visit 


Joshua O’Neal
Director of Sexual Health
Medical and Preventive Services
Fulton County Board of Health
10 Park Place | 6th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303
Office: (404) 613-1411
Email: [email protected]