In honor of World AIDS Day 2017, I’m re-running my post from last year, with a few updates.
“World AIDS Day is held on the 1st of December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held for the first time in 1988.” – https://www.worldaidsday.org/
Some “fast facts” from the AIDS.gov website:
“More than 1.2 million people in the US are living with HIV, and 1 in 8 of them don’t know it.”
“From 2005 to 2014, the annual number of new HIV diagnoses declined 19%.”
“Gay and bisexual men, particularly young African American gay and bisexual men, are most affected.” – https://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/statistics/(In the United States)
Currently, there are 36.7 million people world-wide living with HIV/AIDS. 1.8 million of those are children. A large percentage of those people live in sub-Saharan Africa. An estimated 35 million people have died from AIDS related illnesses since the start of the epidemic. – www.aids.gov
With treatment, HIV/AIDS has gone from a fatal condition, to a treatable disease. Although no cure currently exists, treatment with antiretroviral medications halts the spread of the virus, and the damage done to the infected person’s immune system.
The newest wrinkle is HIV/AIDS prevention is PrEP, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. “When taken consistently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at high risk by up to 92%. The pill (brand name Truvada) contains two medicines (tenofovir and emtricitabine) that are used in combination with other medicines to treat HIV. When someone is exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use, these medicines can work to keep the virus from establishing a permanent infection.” – https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/prep/Many reports are now placing the number at 99%. Undetectable = Untransmittable This updated information from the CDC since my post of one year ago: Scientific advances have shown that antiretroviral therapy (ART) preserves the health of people living with HIV. We also have strong evidence of the prevention effectiveness of ART. When ART results in viral suppression, defined as less than 200 copies/ml or undetectable levels, it prevents sexual HIV transmission. Across three different studies, including thousands of couples and many thousand acts of sex without a condom or pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), no HIV transmissions to an HIV-negative partner were observed when the HIV-positive person was virally suppressed. This means that people who take ART daily as prescribed and achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner.https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/de0404_1f9f737da1674cdda5a42f7857cd4fa6.pdf
Tulare County averages about 30 new HIV infections a year (2011-2013). Condoms, regular testing, ART medications, and PrEP are all steps to take to reduce the risk of HIV infection, and to prevent the spread of the disease.
World AIDS Day is a global moment of remembrance for those who have died, recognition of those currently infected, and to focus on the continuing efforts at prevention and treatment.
From The Source LGBT+ Center’s Facebook page:
Stigma for HIV continues to be a barrier for testing and treatment. With early detection and treatment people live long healthy lives and can ultimately become HIV undetectable making it nearly impossible for them to transmit HIV. PrEP can help an HIV negative person stay negative and is up to 99% effective in preventing a new infection through sexual contact. We owe the men, women, and children who died for decades a great deal of respect and reverence along with allies, doctors, and social justice fighters that never gave up the hope. We will end AIDS. #worldAIDSday
Tulare County Health and Human Services posted this comment to The Source LGBT+ Center’s Facebook posting:
Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency HHSA stands with The Source LGBT+ Center and supports this message! Confidential HIV testing sites available at https://tchhsa.org/eng/index.cfm/public-health/hiv-aids-std/ and ask your primary care physician about PrEP. Having trouble finding a physician? Call our Visalia or Farmersville Health Care Center at (559) 623-0700.
The Source LGBT+ Center holds a HIV Peer support group on the first Thursday of each month, 6pm, at the drop-in center (after hours). Contact us at 559-429-4277, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Free confidential testing in Porterville at the Tulare County Public Health Department. First Monday of each month, 3pm to 4:30pm, 1055 W. Henderson, Suite 6.
In Tulare, at the Hillman Health Care Center, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Monday of the month, 4pm to 6pm. 1062 S. K St.
For more information, visit The Source LGBT+ Center’s HIV webpage at http://thesourcelgbt.org/hiv
Visit The Source LGBT+ Center at 208 W. Main Street, Suite B (downstairs in the Montgomery Square building), Visalia. Drop-in center hours Tuesday through Friday, 3pm till 6pm.
E-mail us through our webpage, here.
Facebook: The Source LGBT+ Center
Our webpage: The Source LGBT+ Center
Twitter: The Source LGBT+ Center
Instagram: The Source LGBT+ CenterImage: https://www.aids.gov/