Wellness News 6-16

By Deana M. Newman
TNCP Senior Health Correspondent

    An article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, on August 22nd, reported very dismal information from the 2007 International AIDS Vaccine Conference in Seattle, Washington.  Twenty years of research for a vaccine against Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has proven to not be affective against the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).   According to the Seattle PI, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stated the current research approach does not work and …”we don’t even know why it doesn’t work”. 
    Readers of the New Citizens Press, it is time to take charge of your individual health and encourage our communities to do likewise.  Our world is continuously inflicted by chronic diseases and illnesses.  However, many are avoidable through the use of simple preventive techniques. 
    Let’s examine the current prevalence of HIV/AIDS within the United States.  The HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, revealed nearly 40,000 citizens within 33 surveyed states were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 2005.  African-Americans accounted for nearly 50 percent of the diagnosed cases, 31 percent were Caucasian and 18 percent were Hispanic.  However, over 70 percent of the surveyed population with HIV/AIDS were males, both adolescent and adults.
     More surprisingly, American seniors now make-up over 15 percent of all U.S. citizens living with HIV/AIDS in 2007 and the rate continues to increase.  The main causes…unprotected sex and lack of educational awareness.
    The risk of contracting HIV/AIDS is mainly dependent on life-choices.  Abstaining from all forms of sex is the ultimate way to prevent the disease.  If you are sexually active, talking with your partner about sex, past behaviors and using condoms to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases is highly important.  Additional ways to protect against HIV/AIDS are avoiding sex while under the influence of illicit drugs and alcohol which can distort rational thinking, not sharing needles, and most importantly, GET TESTED annually or during routine medical check-ups.
    For more information on HIV/AIDS, please speak with your primary physician, contact your local Department of Health, and/or visit www.hivtest.org to locate free testing sites in your area.     

Deana Newman is currently a Cardiovascular Perfusionist at Sparrow Hospital and a Master’s candidate in
Health Communications at Michigan State University.

Free HIV/AIDS Testing Sites in the Lansing Area:

Black Child and Family Institute
835 W Genesee
Lansing, Michigan 48915
Community Based Organization

Glass House
419 Martin Luther King Blvd
Lansing, Michigan 48915
Community Based Organization

Ingham County Health Department
306 W Willow St
Lansing, Michigan 48906

Holden House
3300 S Pennsylvania Ave
Lansing, Michigan 48910
Community Based Organization

Lansing Area AIDS Network
913 W Holmes Rd Ste 115
Lansing, Michigan 48910
AIDS Service Organization

Ingham County Health Department
5303 S Cedar St
Lansing, Michigan 48911
Public Health Department/Social Services Department

Listening Ear Crisis Intervention Center
313 W Grand River Ave
East Lansing, Michigan 48823
Community Based Organization

Olin Health Center
E Circle Dr Rm 355
East Lansing, Michigan 48824