12 October 2011

National HIV Testing Day

HIV/AIDS is one of the biggest challenges that we face in the modern times. As it is, the situation is getting worse day by day. A major reason for this is the fact, that, most people are not aware of the fact, that, they are infected with HIV.

This has changed the situation from bad to worse. As we see all around us, the world is filled with undetected cases of HIV infections. This is a potential danger. People most often, unknowingly infect others, who in turn pass the virus to someone else. This way, the cycle continues.

The best way that we have in our hand, to deal with this problem, is HIV testing; which can prove to be an important tool in stopping the disease from spreading further. An active step in this direction is the National HIV testing day.

National HIV testing day is being held on June 27 each year, for the past many years. The idea of this program is to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS, among the people, so as to minimize the spread of HIV.

Typically, HIV testing has a number of advantages. Some of them are as follows:

1. The first and foremost advantage of HIV testing is that, it stops you from spreading the virus any further, if you have knowledge of your infection. This means that you can save your partner from getting infected with the disease, by taking necessary precautions.

2. Longer life span is the second advantage of HIV Testing. Studies have shown a considerable improvement of the life span amongst those, who were affected by HIV/AIDS; where proper medication has actually slowed the progress of the virus. As a result, the life expectancy of the patients increased by as many as five to six years. This is a commendable thing, especially when it takes eight to ten years for HIV to develop into AIDS.

3. Thirdly, if you are a pregnant woman, infected with the virus, you have chances of lowering the risk of infecting your unborn child. Also, you can stop the virus from spreading to your children by way of breast milk.
According to a rough estimate, more than two hundred and fifty thousand people in America are infected with this disease; and a major portion of them are not even aware of it. This makes it a potent disaster waiting to happen. However, you can actually lower its impact. All you need to do is to register yourself for HIV testing and make the National HIV testing day, a great success.

Take the test, take control” is the theme of the National HIV testing events this year. Recently National HIV testing Day took place on June 27 across U.S with the motive of raising public awareness and saving lives.

The events which promoted awareness among the people against the deadly disease also offered free testing for the people.
The Health Officials believe that 250,000 Americans are infected with HIV, but do not know it.

If these people take part in such events and get themselves tested, then a lot of awareness can be built among them so that they take care of themselves and also save lives of others from being infected.

Other than this, three HIV/AIDS testing sites in the metro Detroit area will be available today. Testing will be conducted in the metro area at these locations:

The Midwest AIDS Prevention Project in Ferndale will be testing at 429 Livernois from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. today.

The city Department of Health and Wellness Promotion will be testing at Belle Isle Casino in downtown Detroit from 10 to 5 p.m.
AIDS Partnership Michigan will be testing at 2751 E. Jefferson in Detroit, though the times were not available Thursday.
The type of test varies by location. Some sites will test using a mouth swab, while others will use the finger-pricking method. No appointment is necessary. For testing sites elsewhere in Michigan, call 800-872-2437 or go online to www.aidspartnership.org. 

Margaret Jones, HIV counselor for the Detroit Health Department feels that Prevention is the key to avoid HIV/AIDS.
“We want to prevent the spread of HIV, so it is very important that everyone knows their status”. She said.
About 350 people test positive among the more than 68,000 tested for HIV each year at Michigan Department of Community Health sites. About 7,160 people in the city of Detroit were living with HIV/AIDS in April 2007, Jones said.
But unfortunately, not many are aware of their status.
Because anyone can get HIV, CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested as a routine part of their medical care. CDC also recommends that pregnant women be tested early during each pregnancy. This will help eliminate the spread of HIV to infants.

Early HIV diagnosis is critical, so people who are infected can fully benefit from available live-saving treatments. Currently, almost 40 percent of people with HIV are not diagnosed until they have already developed AIDS that can be up to 10 years after they first became infected with HIV.

Finding out whether you are infected with HIV is the first step to improving your health and the health of your partners and your family. The week of June 27 there will be thousands of organizations offering HIV testing and hosting special NHTD events. Make plans to get tested and encourage others to get tested as well with an e-Card.

Organized annually by the National Association of People with AIDS* (NAPWA), with support from CDC, this year marks the 16th Annual NHTD. The theme of campaign – "Take the Test. Take Control" – highlights the need for HIV testing.

NAPWA and other NHTD organizers reach out to communities at increased risk of HIV infection, especially African American and Latino populations. HIV exacts a devastating toll on African Americans, who account for almost half of new HIV diagnoses (49% in 2006) but only approximately 13% of the population in the 33 states with confidential name-based HIV reporting. Latinos are also hard hit, accounting for nearly 20% of new HIV diagnoses (18% in 2006) but only approximately 13% of population in those 33 states with confidential name-based HIV reporting.

Gay Men and Hiv Aids Facts

HIV/AIDS is one of the most dreaded diseases of all times. As it is, it ahs effected a number of people all across the globe. In the initial years, when the retroviral drug therapy was not evolved, it was responsible for millions of deaths all around the world.

With the advent of the antiretroviral therapy, there has been a significant decline in the number of deaths due to HIV/AIDS. Along with this there has been significant development in relation to imparting education among people, in regard to HIV/AIDS. Many organizations have played a vital role in this regard.

However, despite their best efforts, to educate people, about, spread, prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, there has been a rise in the number of myths and misconceptions regarding HIV/AIDS.

One of the most popular misconceptions, which have been there for a very long time, is that, HIV/AIDS is a gay disease. Now this is a misconception and the fact remains that, it is a disease, which affects gays and straight people alike. However, it is also true that, gays are more vulnerable to getting infected with HIV, mainly because, people involved in anal sex are more vulnerable to HIV, than those involved in vaginal sex.

This because, anal sex causes more breaks in the skin, which leads to an easy access for the virus to enter into the body. Apart from that, the virus can go up via the anal route and enter the colon; making infection a lot easier than it would have been in case of vaginal or oral sex.

It may be due to this reason, that HIV affects gays more than they affect other people. However, it needs to be mentioned, that people in heterosexual relationships are not a safer lot. In fact, you may feel safe, but at the end of the day, HIV does not actually differentiate between homosexuals and heterosexuals.

According to a survey conducted in 2005, it was revealed that a large number of homosexual males were infected by the virus. This led to a rise in awareness among gay right groups, who contributed a lot in imparting education related to the transmission, prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS.
With this spread in education, many gay people were reported to have changed their sexual preferences and stay away from anal sex.

However, the problem does not end here, as a major cause of the spread of the virus, is unsafe sex. This needed to be addressed as well. Gay right groups made a huge contribution in this regard as well, by spreading awareness in this regard as well. These initial efforts were quite helpful in saving a lot many people from getting infected with the virus.

All this said and done, the need of the hour is to spread education in regard to HIV/AIDS and to protect your self from getting infected with the virus, irrespective of whether you are straight or you are gay. In case you are already infected, then in that case, it is your moral duty, to see to it, that you do not spread the virus further.

Hiv Aids Treatment- Healthcare Provider

Diagnosed with an HIV infection can indeed be a very traumatic experience. If your HIV tests show that you are an HIV positive person, then the experience can be really painful. In most cases, patients lose all hope and suicidal tendencies may even creep in.

As it is losing hope can never be the solution and the best thing to do is not to surrender. Since you are a born fighter, all you need to do is maintain your spirit and keep a cool head in such overwhelming times. You must always remember that panic would cause more damage to you than the virus.

It is worth mentioning that even if you have been detected with HIV, you still have many more years to live. In fact by way of proper medication, you can definitely improve your lifespan; and who knows, we may even find a cure for HIV during this period.

Now, that you are ready to take the bull by its horn, a healthcare provider can prove to be quite helpful in your fight against HIV. A healthcare provider is a trained professional, who has specialization in treating people living with HIV. Typically a healthcare provider would be of great use for you in the following ways:

1. Emotional support
If you have recently been diagnosed with HIV, then you would definitely need a lot of emotional support. A major concern for you at this stage would be how to disclose this fact to your family and friends. A healthcare provider can be of great help in this regard. He can provide you with regular counseling which can be of extreme help to you.

2. Extensive experience in medication
Since a healthcare provider is equipped with proper experience in regard to dealing with such cases, you can utilize his experience in this regard. He/she would make you aware of the latest medication which is available to you and how you get benefitted by using them.

He would also provide you with information in regard to the side effects of using these drugs and what kind of therapy would suite you the best, on the basis of your affordability.

3. Other information
Along with the above benefits, a healthcare provider would provide you with a lot more information, which can be extremely helpful for you, such as a healthcare provider would give you information in regard to the charitable organizations providing support to people in regard to treatment etc.

Despite all the benefits of a healthcare provider, he/she can not be of any use, unless and until you are ready to take up this fight against HIV. Your belief and spirit are the most important tools for you, in this fight. So, do not let your spirit die before an organism, which is so small that it is not even visible to you through naked eyes.

Non-Profit Organization helping African from HIV AIDS

When it comes to the AIDS epidemic, Africa is perhaps the most affected place on earth. Scientists have attributed this to a genetic code which makes them more vulnerable to the virus along with lack of proper infrastructure, as far as prevention from the disease is concerned.

According to a rough estimate more than ninety percent of those living with HIV reside in the developing nations, with an absurdly large chunk of this population residing in Africa. It therefore becomes all the more important for us, to strengthen our fight against HIV, with Africa being a region of prime focus.

Of late a number of non-profit organizations have come up, in order to support the cause of spreading education in regard to HIV/AIDS, as well as providing medical as well as other aids to those suffering from HIV.

Unfortunately many of these organizations are actually fraudulent. It is really sad to see that even in this hour of crisis; some unscrupulous elements indulge in fraudulent activities and misappropriation of resources.

However, most of them are actually doing a lot of good work in this regard. Most of these non profit organizations focus on rehabilitation of orphans, who have lost both of their parents to HIV. Others try to provide AIDS education, in order to prevent the disease from spreading further. They also try to eradicate the myths surrounding HIV, which is also of great help in prevention.

Since Africa is an underdeveloped region, therefore, it is very unlikely that, people here can afford to pay for the antiretroviral therapy. Some non-profit groups have also sprung up to address this problem. So you have many non-profit groups providing medication to the HIV affected people free of cost.

Despite this, when we look at the situation, we find all these efforts to be grossly inadequate in dealing with the situation. As it is, a majority of these groups employ semiskilled employees, with little or sometimes absolutely no medical knowledge, making the situation really dangerous.

Apart from this, another problem, which these groups face, is lack of funds, due to which, there activities get restricted to a few areas. Not just that, it also puts restrictions on their ability to employ skilled labor.

As it is, the situation in Africa is absolutely critical and the services of these non-profit groups are absolutely peanuts as compared to what is actually required. It therefore, requires us to move across the boundaries of race, culture and nationality; and extend our help to the cause of these non profit organizations.

What is A Vital Part of HIV Nutrition

HIV being such a deadly virus, with no cure till date, the only thing that an HIV positive person can do to increase his/her lifespan is to improve upon the immune system of the body. As it is, vitamins can play a major role in this.
HIV is a virus that weakens our immune system. It therefore, becomes very important for a person suffering with HIV to keep his immune system in good shape, in order to delay the arrival of AIDS.

Since the primary aim should be to keep your immune system in good shape, therefore, proper nourishment plays a very vital role in this regard. As it is adequate nutrition in the form of Vitamins, minerals and more importantly in the form of carbohydrates and fats can play a very pivotal role in delaying the onset of AIDS, thereby improving the lifespan of the patient.

Vitamin C is by far one of the most essential vitamins as far as strengthening the immune system is concerned. You can get a good supply of Vitamin C, by including lots of citrus fruits like lemon and tomatoes in your diet chart. However, vitamin C has its own disadvantages in case of antiretroviral drug therapy.  It would be therefore better, to consult a physician, to know about your ability to intake Vitamin C.

Vitamin B12 is another vital nutrient for an HIV positive person. Studies have shown that proper intake of Vitamin B12 can help in fighting problems like deficiency could lead to anemia, depression, neuropathy, rashes, and fatigue, along with serious problems like lymphocytes. Products like beef and chicken are rich in vitamin B12.

Along with these, proper dosage of Vitamin A can help in enhancing the production of helpful body chemicals that fights off the ill effects of HIV. As it is, Beta-carotene can be very effective for an HIV positive person in delaying the arrival of AIDS. Products like eggs, fish and milk are good sources of vitamin A.

Along with these, vitamin B1 and B6 can also prove to be very good for you in warding off the ill effects of HIV.
A major aspect of HIV infection is acute weight loss. Proper intake of carbohydrate and fat can help you in overcoming this problem. In fact, it has been found that, people with HIV infection burn more calories than average. Due to this reason, an above average intake of carbohydrates and fats is often recommended.

Protein is also another important nutrition that should be a part of your diet chart. This is because, people with HIV infection, tend to have a very low lean mass count. An adequate dose of protein can help you deal with this problem.

With the help of proper nutrition, you can improve upon the immune system of your body and increase your life expectancy as well. However, you must always remember, that, a more than required intake of nutrition can also be quite harmful. You should therefore, consult your doctor, to know about your proper dose of nutrition.

What Is a Serodiscordant Relationship

A serodiscordant relationship is a relationship, is one of the most challenging aspects of HIV infection. A serodiscordant relationship is a relationship in which, one partner is HIV positive and the other partner is HIV negative.

With a rapid growth in the number of HIV positive cases, such relationships have become quite common in recent times. Needless to say such relationships involve lots of feelings and quite often lots of stress. Most of such relationships do not last for a very long time; and the love and mutual understanding begins to crumble as soon as the HIV positive person begins to show signs of weakening.

Things may turn out to be pretty ugly at the time of diagnosis. When the HIV negative partner comes to know about the infection of the other partner, a number of thoughts spiral his/her mind. The very first thought that may appear in mind that this was a result of infidelity on the part of the HIV positive person, or may be due to drug abuse. As it is, in both the circumstances, the relationship is not likely to be continued for very long time.

Another challenge that is quite common in such relationships is that, one partner may constantly feel threatened of being infected with the virus. With still no cure for HIV, this is quite normal. Despite using protective barriers during sexual intercourse, there is always a significant amount of risk involved. Due to this reason, the HIV negative person may not be very keen on continuing the relationship, which may result in a feeling of being neglecting in the HIV positive partner.

Even if the relationship continues, the HIV positive partner is always under constant guilt of putting the other partner’s life at risk. This may further result in frustration and in many cases, severe depression.

However, it is better to accept the fact rather than grueling your mind as to WHY ME syndrome. Once you accept it, life would become much easier for you. As it is, in any relationship, the emotional aspect plays a more vital role than the physical aspect.

Due to this reason the number of serodiscordant relationships has taken a rise in recent years. Along with this, the stigma associated with HIV infection has also drastically reduced in recent years.

Nevertheless, serodiscordant relationships have a significant amount of risk involved in spreading the virus to the other partner, mainly through sexual intercourse. It is therefore advisable to practice safe sexual intercourse in a serodiscordant relationship.

A serodiscordant relationship involves a number of emotions. It is therefore required to go about with such relationships in a sensitive manner.