December is National Aids Awareness Month
There are approximately 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States. The number of new HIV diagnoses has remained relatively stable from 2008-2012, but the numbers are still too high, especially among gay and bisexual men, blacks/African Americans, and Hispanics/Latinos. For example, of the 47,989 people diagnosed with HIV in 2012:
64 percent were gay and bisexual men.
47 percent were blacks/African Americans.
18.5 percent were Hispanics/Latinos.
About 14 percent of all people living with HIV in the United States don't know they have the virus, and the only way to find out is to be tested. Fortunately, HIV testing has never been easier due to rapid tests and home testing kits available online or from drugstores. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested at least once, and that those at higher risk get tested at least once a year. Gay and bisexual men may benefit from getting tested more often, such as every 3 to 6 months. CDC also encourages people who are at high risk but do not have HIV to be aware of new approaches to HIV prevention, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. The word “prophylaxis” means to prevent or control the spread of an infection or disease. The goal of PrEP is to prevent HIV infection from taking hold if you are exposed to the virus. This is done by taking one pill every day. These are some of the same medicines used to keep the virus under control in people who are already living with HIV. and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. It involves taking antiretroviral medicines as soon as possible, but no more than 72 hours (3 days) after you may have been exposed to HIV, to try to reduce the chance of becoming HIV-positive. These medicines keep HIV from making copies of itself and spreading through your body. Two to three drugs are usually prescribed, and they must be taken for 28 days. PEP is not always effective; it does not guarantee that someone exposed to HIV will not become infected with HIV.
For all people living with HIV, it’s important to get and stay in HIV medical care, which includes taking medication, which can reduce the presence of the HIV virus in the body to very low levels, a state known as "viral suppression." For people living with HIV, achieving viral suppression can improve health, increase life expectancy, and reduce the chance of transmitting the virus to others.
On November 25, 2014, CDC released its latest report on the HIV Continuum of Care in a new edition of Vital Signs, which includes a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Viral suppression is key for people living with HIV. Viral suppression means having very low levels of HIV in the body, even though the virus is still there. Achieving viral suppression by taking HIV medicines allows people living with HIV to have nearly normal lifespans and greatly reduces their chances of transmitting the virus. While we have made progress in HIV prevention and care, only 30% of all people living with HIV have achieved viral suppression. If they are in HIV medical care, however, 76% of people achieve viral suppression. Getting and keeping people in HIV medical care saves lives.
Doctors, nurses, and health care systems can:
To date, HIV prevention has largely focused on persons who are not infected with HIV, to help them avoid becoming infected. In order to further reduce HIV transmission, an increased emphasis must be placed on preventing transmission by HIV-infected persons. Research shows that persons living with HIV often adopt healthy behaviors after their initial diagnosis. However, many revert back to risky behaviors after a period of time, putting their health and the health of others at risk.
Ongoing, brief prevention counseling is a cost-effective measure that can be incorporated into routine care for individuals living with HIV. Prevention IS Care therefore includes tools for medical care providers to use on a daily basis with those patients who are living with HIV. Informational posters and patient education brochures develop patients' knowledge about HIV, facilitate open dialogue and information exchange, and strengthen patients' ability to make healthy choices. And continuing education opportunities are included for medical care providers to update and add depth to their knowledge and skills.
The Mission Statement of Kiowa County Hospital District is to create a healthy community through access to quality, friendly, state-of-the-art health care and health education.
Kiowa County Hospital District is a State Licensed 25-bed Critical Access Hospital. We provide the following care and services:
We also offer the following Specialty Clinics:
The Mission Statement of Kiowa County Hospital District is to create a healthy community through