Sunday, November 30, 2008

December 1st is Bloggers Unite for World's AIDS Day

Because we care about women, men and children affected by AIDS, we are uniting with other bloggers on December 1st for Bloggers Unite for World's AIDS Day and are posting the following information obtained from the US Department of Health and Human Services

Women and HIV/AIDS
There are more than 1 million people in the United States living with HIV. One-fourth of them do not know that they are HIV-infected. Could you be one of them? The only way to know
if you have HIV is to get tested.

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS, and it is taking a devastating toll on women.
In 2005, there were 127,150 women living with HIV/AIDS in the United States.
The proportion of AIDS diagnoses among women has increased since the beginning of the epidemic. Women represented 26 percent of new AIDS diagnoses in 2005, compared to only 11 percent of new AIDS cases reported in 1990. Women of color are especially affected by the disease. AIDS is now the leading cause of death for African American women ages 25 to 34.
Most women (72 percent) living with HIV/AIDS in 2005 were infected through heterosexual contact. Another 26 percent were infected through injection drug use.

Know Your Status. Get Tested for HIV.
If you do not know if you are infected with HIV, you could be spreading it to others. If you are
HIV-positive, you must take steps to prevent passing your HIV infection to another person.
If you find out that you have HIV, it does not mean that you are going to get sick and die. While there is no cure for HIV, new drugs are available that can help you stay healthy and decrease the amount of HIV virus in your body.

What Is the HIV Test?
The HIV test detects whether or not you have been exposed to the HIV virus. There are several
different kinds of tests: blood tests, urine tests, and an oral (mouth) test. Only a very small amount of blood is needed for the blood tests. HIV tests can take a few days to 2 weeks for
results, or with rapid HIV tests you can get results in about 20 minutes.

Where Can I Get Tested?
Free and confidential or anonymous HIV tests are available. To find an HIV testing site near you, visit http://www.hivtest.org/. Or, call: 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) TTY: 1-888-232-6348 In English, en EspaƱol
Open 24 hours a day — Confidential

What Else Can I Do?
You have the power to help stop the spread of HIV. Be safe. The best way to prevent HIV is to
abstain from having sex. If you do have sex, use a new latex condom every time. Do not share
needles or syringes.
Talk about it. Talk about sex and HIV with your partners. Find out when they were last tested
for HIV and what their status was. Be clear that you will be having safer sex…or none at all.
Talk to your doctor. If you are sexually active, you should get tested for HIV at least once. Do
not assume your doctor will ask you to be tested for HIV.
Spread the word. Thousands of women are infected with HIV each year. Set an example by
getting tested and spreading the word that others should do the same.

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