Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Now is the Time to Learn More About HIV/AIDS

World AIDS Day, was Saturday, Dec. 1, and is recognized as a day of bringing awareness about HIV/AIDS to communities throughout the world.

Were I as organized as I might like, that's when this post would have been published.

But I'm not, and there are plenty of days you can get better informed about HIV/AIDS or get yourself tested.

In fact, you can do it right now.

Below is a release issued by the Montgomery County Health Department recently:

Wold AIDS Day is not only about remembering those who lost their battle to HIV/AIDS, but it is also recognized as a day to help unite people in the fight again HIV and to educate people about the virus.

Dec. 1, 1988 was the first World AIDS Day during which people from all over the world began to raise awareness. The theme for the first World AIDS Day was “communication.”

As advances in medicine have been made, access to care has improved, and more people have been educated about the virus. 

This year’s theme is, “Getting to zero: Zero infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths.”

Take part in helping to get to zero:

1) Educate yourself. There is a lot of false information out there. It is important to obtain accurate information from reputable sources. A few reputable sources regarding HIV/AIDS information include: www.cdc.gov/hiv/ , http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/ and www.thebody.com/.

2) Protect yourself. Abstinence is the only guaranteed way to protect yourself. However, you can significantly reduce your risk of getting HIV/AIDS by using latex or polyurethane condoms consistently and correctly. Another way to reduce your risk for HIV/AIDS is to not share any of your needles or works with others if you are an injection drug user.

3) Get tested. If you believe that you are at risk for acquiring HIV/AIDS, get tested. To better assess your risk, it’s important to know that HIV can be spread through four fluids: blood, breast milk, semen, and vaginal secretions. In addition, there are some people that are considered to be at high risk for acquiring HIV/AIDS. These include:

· Men who have sex with men (MSMs)

· Injection drug users (IDUs)

· Sexually active people between the ages of 13-29 years old

Montgomery County Health Department offers free Rapid HIV testing with results in as little as 30 minutes. This type of testing is offered at the Norristown Health Center located at 1430 Dekalb Street on Tuesdays from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and Thursdays from 1 to 3:30 p.m.. 

All you have to do is call 610-278-5117 to make an appointment. 

Montgomery County Health Department also offers traditional HIV testing along with STD testing to all Montgomery County residents over age 13. No appointment necessary. 

These FREE services are provided daily, throughout Montgomery County, and one the clinics where it is available is in Pottstown.
You can get tested right here in Pottstown.

Pottstown Health Center (PHC)
364 King Street
Pottstown, PA 19464
(610) 970-5040
fax: (610) 970-5048

Confidential or Anonymous HIV testing, education and counseling is offered during clinic hours only, by a blood test. Clients must return one week later for their test results. Partner notification and referral services are provided as needed.

Visit the health department at www.health.montcopa.org for testing days, times and locations. Do your part and help get to zero.

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