World AIDS Day is observed on Dec. 1. This is an opportunity to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS, show support for those living with HIV, and commemorate those who have died from AIDS. When the AIDS epidemic emerged 35-plus years ago, most everyone died of an AIDS-related condition after diagnosis. We’ve come a long way. Within the last year, milestones have been achieved. HIV/AIDS rose to the forefront of public awareness as the United States took leadership to educate 52 counties around the world about the disease.
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a worldwide disease caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). It’s estimated 13,300 persons are known to be living with HIV/AIDS in Nevada. Approximately 1 in 7 people don’t know they have the disease. Overall, the number of new HIV infections, new AIDS cases, and deaths among persons living with HIV/AIDS has been steadily declining. People are living longer after being diagnosed because of the availability of antiviral medications.
The battle against HIV/AIDS is still occurring. HIV is spread by having unprotected sex with someone who’s infected with the disease. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend anyone between the ages of 13 to 64 years old with specific risk factors be tested annually. HIV testing is available to everyone at Carson City Health and Human Services, 900 E. Long St., Carson City. Rapid tests are available that take 20 minutes. All test results are confidential. Early detection and antiviral treatment therapy is important to suppress the disease.
If you know someone who has been recently diagnosed with HIV, encourage them to seek treatment and support. The Ryan White program may be able to assist with medical care and medications.
For World AIDS Day, educate yourself about HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. Know how to protect yourself at all times. Have open and honest conversations about HIV/AIDS with your friends and family. Talk to your children and friends about abstinence, protection, and testing. Together we can stop the transmission of HIV and the devastation of AIDS.
For information about CCHHS services, visit our website at http://gethealthycarsoncity.org/preparedness or visit us at www.facebook.com/cchhs.
This publication was supported by the State of Nevada, Division of Public and Behavioral Health through Grant No. X07HA00001-28-00 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and don’t necessarily represent the official views of the Health Resource and Services Administration nor the State of Nevada, Division of Public and Behavioral Health.