Sisters, Stay Alive & Informed!

Officially join my family and receive information, insight and inspiration on living a healthy, happy and prosperous life.

    I am not a robot

    Our Privacy Policy
    mail
    arrow

    What About the Other Virus?

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | November 29th, 2020

    What About the Other Virus?

    When I think about the coronavirus, I get flashbacks about another virus – HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). We were so afraid of the virus at that time. The hospital where I trained was on the frontline – doing cutting edge research regarding HIV. Thirty years later, we have learned so much and yet HIV is still being transmitted and people are still dying of AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

    December 1 is World AIDS Day. The theme this year is – Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilience and Impact. The purpose of this day is for people worldwide to unite to fight against HIV, show their support for people with HIV, and remember those who have died from an HIV-related illness. We can all stop HIV together.

    HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks body’s immune system. If HIV is not treated, it can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). There is currently no effective cure. Once people get HIV, they have it for life. With proper medical care, HIV can be controlled. People with HIV who get effective HIV treatment can live long, healthy lives and protect their partners.

    The facts:

    • Approximately 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV today. About 14 percent of them (1 in 7) do not know it and need testing.
    • HIV continues to have a disproportionate impact on certain populations, particularly racial and ethnic minorities and gay and bisexual men.
    • Young people are the most likely to be unaware of their infection.

    HIV can be transmitted by sexual contact, sharing needles to inject drugs and mother to baby during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding.  You cannot get HIV from the air, water, saliva, sweat, tears, closed mouth kissing, insects, pets, sharing toilets, foods or drinks.

    WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO?

    TEST for HIV – Get tested at least once and often if you are at risk. At this time, all pregnant women are tested for HIV.  This is why early prenatal care is important. If we know that a pregnant woman is positive for HIV, we can decrease the risk of the baby getting HIV by treating the mother while she is pregnant and giving the baby medication when the baby is born. No baby should get HIV if we catch the mother on time. Remember there are people walking around with HIV that do not know they have HIV. Unlike coronavirus testing, we have enough HIV testing kits. GET TESTED. Know your status so that we can stop the spread.

    PREVENT HIV

    • Use condoms the right way every time you have anal or vaginal sex.
    • Limit your number of sex partners.
    • Do not inject drugs, or if you do, do not share needles, syringes, or other drug equipment.
    • If you are very high risk for HIV (for example, your partner has HIV or uses drugs), ask your health care provider if pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is right for you.
    • If you think you have been exposed to HIV within the last 3 days, ask a health care provider about post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) right away. PEP can prevent HIV, but it must be started within 72 hours.
    • Get tested and treated for other STDs – Having certain STDs, can put one at risk for other STDs. If you have been diagnosed with an STD, you should also get tested for HIV.

    TREAT HIV – There is no shame to testing positive for HIV. As I mentioned, people are living long, healthy productive lives if treated early. You must take your medication as prescribed every day. It is a chronic disease and you must stay in HIV care. There are specialized centers all over country. It is important that you tell your sex or drug-using partners that you have HIV. Use condoms the right way every time you have sex and talk to your partners about PrEP.

    Click here to find out the areas in the U.S. hardest hit by HIV.

    Source: CDC.gov.

    Leave a Reply

    *

    code

    Secure Your Copy of Letters to My Sisters by Dr. Ngozi Osuagwu.
    secimg

    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.




    Ready to Commit to Living a Healthier Life, Start Here with…

    Dr Ngozi’s 30 Day Alive & Healthy Challenge
    alive

    Get 30 days of insight and inspiration on creating and sustaining a healthy lifestyle straight from the
    doctor. Share this valuable resource with your mother, sisters, daughters, grandmothers, aunts, cousins
    and girlfriends. Do it solo, or in a group. Simply do it! Join our mailing list and get instant access to this life-saving resource now!