There aren’t many things that make me jump out of bed, skip coffee, and want to share the latest research more than progressive information concerning HIV. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS and suppresses the immune system leaving those infected more susceptible to a list of serious health problems. HIV and AIDS are disproportionally prevalent in specific populations including African Americans, men who have sex with men (MSM), and those living in rural areas.
Just last week, the 19th International AIDS Conference was held in Washington, DC. I was ecstatic to be able listen in and hear about advances in prevention and care for individuals infected with HIV/AIDS. The data released was not only informative but generously inspirational. I’d love to engage in deeper conversation with anyone interested.
The US Food and Drug Administration’s latest announcements include two specific advances in testing and prevention of transmission of HIV. First, the approval of OraQuick an at-home HIV test and then second, the approval of Truvada an antiretroviral medication that can be used to reduce the possibility of acquiring infection. I still have many underlying questions about each of these advancements but believe they are both steps in the right direction.
Now that I’ve given a brief explanation of recent progress, let’s have some fun! Take a few minutes to complete the 2-3 minute HIV/AIDS quiz by the Kaiser Family Foundation. You may learn something new and be able to spark tonight’s dinner conversation. HIV/AIDS is a winnable battle! It’s time that we all took responsibility and helped one another!