In The News
World AIDS Day will be observed on December 1, 2014. It was first established by the World Health Organization in 1988, and is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) pandemic which is caused by the spread of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) which kills or damages the body’s immune system cells. The theme for the years 2011-2015 revolves around “Getting to Zero”, and focuses on reducing new HIV infections, reducing discrimination, and increasing access to education, testing, treatment, and care. You can show your support for people living with HIV on World AIDS Day by wearing a , the international symbol of HIV awareness and support.
As of 2013, AIDS has resulted in more than 36 million deaths worldwide (1981-2012). An estimated 35.3 million people are currently living with HIV, with approximately 1.2 million living in the United States.
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. Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) remain the population most affected by HIV and may benefit from getting tested every 3 to 6 months. Other high risk factors include having unprotected sex with someone who is infected with HIV or whose HIV status you don't know, having multiple sex partners, the use of intravenous (IV) drugs or having sex with someone who uses IV drugs, or having another sexually transmitted disease (STD), such as herpes, chlamydia, syphilis, or gonorrhea. STDs may cause changes in tissue that make HIV transmission more likely. Additional risk factors include having a mother who was infected with HIV before you were born or having had a blood transfusion or received blood products before 1985.
There are several ways to protect yourself and others. Use a condom. Don’t share needles, toothbrushes, or razors. Talk to a doctor about getting tested for HIV if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. If you are HIV-positive, seek counseling and treatment. If you plan to get a tattoo or body piercing, see a professional who uses sterile equipment.
A blood test can tell if you have HIV infection. Early diagnosis and treatment improves health, extends life and helps prevent the spread of the disease. Your health care provider can perform the test, or you may call the Sullivan County Health Department at 423-279-2777 to make an appointment for free and confidential testing.
Additional information may be found on the following websites:
A lot has been in the news lately about Ebola. Here is the CDC fact sheet. In order to keep the community better informed we wanted to share this general information fact sheet.
For more information click the following links:
The Tennessee Department of Health continues to provide assistance to patients affected by contaminated methylprednisolone acetate, including new outreach efforts to some who may develop localized infections. Click HERE for the latest update.