Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Are You one of those with HIV and don't know it?

Today is National HIV Testing Day. You can find a testing place near you here.

About 200,000 Americans are infected with HIV and don't know it, 850,000 to 950,000 Americans are HIV positive, and 40,000 people are newly infected each year in the USA, says the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If these figures are accurate, it means that about one quarter of all Americans who are HIV positive don't know it.

25 years ago today, 5 men from Los Angeles were found to have the disease. But, it was never revealed what the disease was. It was first thought that AIDS affected only men and drug addicts who used syringes. But, it has been found that AIDS is now growing even among heterosexual women and older people.

Who is at risk for having this disease? If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you need to be tested.

-- Have you ever injected drugs yourself? Were the needles, syringes, cotton or water shared with others?

-- Have you had unprotected sex with multiple partners, men who have sex with men, or anonymous partners? This includes vaginal, anal or oral sex.

-- Have you traded sex for money or drugs?

-- Were you ever treated for or diagnosed with hepatitis, TB or an STD (sexually transmitted disease)?

-- Did you have a blood transfusion or clotting factor during the period 1978-1985?

-- Have you had unprotected sex with anyone who might answer yes to one of the questions above?
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Carol said...

When I was still working as an R.N., I used to worry about fluid-born transmission since I often found myself having to handle body fluids and, despite all precautions there were accidental needle sticks and so forth.

I was relieved to stop nursing (not breastfeeding nursing) just prior to giving birth to my son. I was HIV tested at the beginning and the end of the pregnancy, so know I'm fine now, but this is something health care professionals do shop talk about. All the precautions, but also the mishaps that can happen.

Barbara said...

I would think this would be first and foremost on all minds in the medical field, the way things have progressed. But, when Bill was in the hospital for 10 days, I think the nurses became so comfortable with him, most didn't wear gloves, when they'd check him (he had surgery).

Bill has 2 nieces who are nurses. And, our daughter is a technician in an ophthamologist' office, and they do operate, and they see indigents and prisoners. It bothers me greatly, to what they could run into one day.