HIV screening is as easy as a simple blood test with highly accurate results typically available in less than a week,” says Dr. Andrew Benin, M.D.
The Development of Pre-exposure Preventive Care or PrEP Is Highly Effective in Decreasing Transmission of HIV in High-Risk Populations, says Dr. Andrew Benin
REDLANDS, CALIFORNIA, USA, December 2, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — LaSalle Medical Associates joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and many other organizations to celebrate the advances that have been made in the treatment and prevention of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), the disease caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
The CDC points out that World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate the over 32 million people who have died from an AIDS-related illness.
Since its beginning in 1988, World AIDS Day has brought together agencies of the United Nations and the United States, as well as scores of healthcare organizations and medical societies worldwide to unite in addressing specific themes related to HIV. UNAIDS has announced the theme for 2023 is “Let Communities Lead.”
UNAIDS says, “Communities connect people with person-centered public health services, build trust, innovate, monitor implementation of policies and services, and hold providers accountable….it is a call to action to enable and support communities in their leadership roles. World AIDS Day 2023 will highlight that to unleash the full potential of community leadership to enable the end of AIDS.”
While there is no cure for HIV, with proper medical care, it can be controlled. NBA superstar Magic Johnson is a famous example. The disease apparently jumped from chimpanzees to humans as long ago as the late 1880s and has infected Americans since “at least the mid to late 1970s,” according to the CDC.
The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested, and that’s where LaSalle Medical Associates comes in. LaSalle’s Dr. Andrew Benin says, “Much has changed in the treatment and prevention of HIV infection in the last 10 years. Screening is as easy as a simple blood test with highly accurate results typically available in less than a week.
“More importantly, the development of pre-exposure preventive care or PrEP is highly effective in decreasing transmission of HIV in high-risk populations such as intravenous drug users and members of the homosexual/bisexual community.”
Possible signs of an HIV infection include flu-like symptoms (sore throat, fever, night sweats, swollen lymph nodes, mouth ulcers, chills, rash, fatigue, and achy muscles) starting two to four weeks after infection that may last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. But some people show no symptoms; that’s why LaSalle says the only way to know for sure is to get tested.
Because HIV is so contagious, at-risk individuals must get tested regularly to prevent the spread of the disease.
HIV.gov points out that “HIV can affect anyone regardless of sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, gender, age, or where they live. However, certain groups of people in the United States are more likely to get HIV than others because of particular factors, including the communities in which they live, what subpopulations they belong to, and their risk behaviors.
“In the United States, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are the population most affected by HIV. According to the CDC, of the 30,635 new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. in 2020, 68% (20,758) were among gay and bisexual men. By race/ethnicity, Blacks/African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos are disproportionately affected by HIV.
“…Also, transgender women who have sex with men are among the groups at highest risk….People who inject drugs remain at significant risk for getting HIV as well.” Risky behaviors include anal or vaginal sex or sharing needles with an HIV-positive partner.
Using condoms can prevent infection, as can taking pre-exposure medicine, which needs to be prescribed by one’s doctor. “People with HIV who take HIV medicine (called antiretroviral therapy or ART) as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load can live long and healthy lives and will not transmit HIV to their HIV-negative partners through sex,” says HIV.gov.
Proper screening and case management are the keys to living well with HIV. Many HIV tests are now quick, free and painless. Your LaSalle doctor can ensure that you get properly tested.
LaSalle Medical Associates serves more than 350,000 patients in their clinics and statewide Independent Physicians Association Group (IPA). Patients are covered by Medi-Cal, Medicare and Covered California, as well as those covered by Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Brand New Day, Molina, Care 1st, Health Net and Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP).
For more information call 1-855-349-6019 or go online to LaSalleMedical.com.
Carl M. Dameron