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Tips on How to Safely Celebrate Halloween During the COVID-19 Pandemic

It’s officially fall, which means it’s time to start thinking about Halloween! But because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, admittedly this year (much like last year) still might look a bit different than you dreamed. We know that many are tired of factoring COVID-19 protocols into the holidays. Halloween is supposed to be a night of lighthearted mischief and haunt — not another opportunity to worry about the pandemic. 

We all want the best of both worlds, but it’s hard to know how to have a good time while staying safe.

Your neighbors at YourTown Health want to help you celebrate authentically (and safely), which is why we’re here to make sure the only scares that you experience this Halloween come from ghouls and goblins — not exposure to infection. 

Halloween in 2021

Although this Halloween might not look like those of years past, it’ll be a bit freer than it was in 2020. This more open feeling has much to do with the growing number of those who are vaccinated. If you’re one of the millions who have gotten your vaccination against COVID-19, rest assured that you have an extra layer of protection. And if you aren’t vaccinated yet, there’s still time to do so before the Halloween festivities begin. 

Though the safety reins clearly aren’t as tight as they were last year, we still recommend following the same guidelines:

  • Choose parties and community events being held outside. The more open air, the better.
  • Even if you’re partying outside, wear a mask when you can. You could even incorporate it into your costume! (Mad scientist? BioHazard Witch? The options are endless!) Keep in mind that decorative masks don’t take the place of those that safely cover your mouth and nose.
  • Carry hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes along with you, and if there’s an opportunity to wash your hands with soap and water – take it!
  • If the party gets crowded, social distancing becomes less possible. If people are taking off their masks, it’s an even more sure sign you should probably pack it up. Exposure in close quarters isn’t worth the risk, and you can have just as much fun at home. 

Wondering how? Keep reading.

Halloween at Home

There’s nothing wrong with celebrating this autumn holiday at home. Here are a few tips on how you can keep Halloween within your own four walls, but still have a terrifyingly good time. 

Go all out with decorations.

Get into the spirit by making your house the hub for all things Halloween. We’re talking spider webs, fog machines, string lights, skeletons, scarecrows — the whole spooky shebang. Letting loose with decorations (even if you can’t let loose in other ways) will make the holiday that much more noteworthy. (And photo worthy, too!)

Hunt for glowing eggs.

It’s like Easter, but creepy! Hide colorful, glowing eggs around the house and your yard along with candy treats, and everyone will have a blast searching once the sun goes down. 

Host a spooky movie marathon.

Nothing says Halloween like a scary movie. Depending on the age of your family members, you can choose from some Halloween Disney favorites or the scariest blockbusters of all time

No matter what you choose to do for Halloween, we hope that you stay safe, have fun, and make smart choices. Halloween is a time for community, and YourTown Health cares about yours. Give us a call at 770-463-4644 to make an appointment at one of our many locations to discuss Halloween health (or health any time) today. 

How Safe are COVID-19 Vaccines?

Though millions of Americans have now successfully received a COVID-19 vaccine, many are still worried about its safety. 

In our last blog, we shared the benefits of being vaccinated. And ever since, we have uncovered new information that highlights the positive aspects. But we take your concerns seriously and want to address a couple of them in order to explain why current coronavirus vaccines are safe.  

Concern: The COVID-19 Vaccines Were Rushed

Vaccines for the coronavirus were made available more quickly than others have been before. As Medical News Today explained in December 2020, “Creating a vaccine in under one year is no small feat.” The fastest vaccine created before this — for the mumps — took four years to develop.  

But in truth, scientists have been researching this type of virus and the messenger RNA (mRNA) technology that can defeat it (upon which the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are built) for decades. Which means our current scientists had valuable data on the virus’s makeup, life cycle, and effective treatment over a much longer period of time. This has made it easier to defeat more quickly.

“Research that followed in the wake of other devastating outbreaks, such as SARS, MERS and Ebola,” The Chattanooga Times Free Press explains, “helped lay the foundation for a COVID-19 vaccine so that the vaccine developers weren’t starting from scratch.”

So, while the specific vaccines for COVID-19 seem to have been produced over a rapid, one-year timeline, they are based on research and development that extends back much longer. 

Concern: Side Effects from the Vaccine are Harmful

As more people began getting vaccinated this summer, news outlets reported some individuals experienced or died from resulting blood clots. The human loss was deeply tragic, and understandably caused a temporary pause in distribution. 

But since then, it’s been determined that these side effects are extremely rare. How rare? The CDC currently reports they occur at a rate “of about 7 per 1 million vaccinated women between 18 and 49 years old. For women 50 years and older and men of all ages, this adverse event is even more rare.”

Put that into perspective: in 2015, The Las Vegas Review Journal reported that the odds of being struck by lightning in your lifetime are 1 in 12,000.

You may still be wary of the other physical side effects you’ve heard the vaccine might cause, including temporary muscle pain, fever, cough or congestion, and fatigue. But as of July 6, 2021, Healthline has asserted: “Experts say that the mild and rare side effects from COVID-19 vaccines are nowhere near as serious as the potential damage the disease itself can cause.”

Assurance: Safety in Numbers

If you’re still unsure, check in with your neighbors, family, and colleagues who have been vaccinated. Hearing their stories may provide comfort and courage. 

For example, Paul Goepfert, M.D., director of the Alabama Vaccine Research Clinic at the University of Alabama at Birmingham assured UAB News just this month: “. . . because we have had so many people vaccinated, we actually have far more safety data than we have had for any other vaccine, and these COVID vaccines have an incredible safety track record. There should be confidence in that.”

At YourTown Health, we’re here to individually address your concerns and ensure your safety — about the COVID-19 vaccine or any other treatment. Contact us for answers to more of your questions, or call 770-463-4644 for a discreet, individual appointment with one of our providers.

What Being Vaccinated for COVID-19 Can Do For You

The information around COVID-19 vaccinations can be difficult to keep up with. At YourTown Health, we want to help you cut through the noise. 

Though myths about the vaccine, and potential side effects may give you pause, there’s plenty of silver in this cloudy lining. We are passionate partners in protecting your family and your health. That’s why we want to share our good news about being vaccinated with you. 

Living a (Mostly) Mask-Free Life

On May 13, President Biden declared that the CDC no longer recommends mask-wearing — inside or outside — for those who have been vaccinated. Whether you receive the Moderna, Pfizer, or Johson & Johnson vaccines, once your body has produced antibodies and you are past the window of post-vaccine safety (generally two weeks after your final shot), you can feel more confident moving through life without a mask. 

Of course, many places of business are still requesting mask-wearing, because not everyone is vaccinated, and companies need to protect their staff. Prevention also points out that, while vaccines protect you extremely well, there’s still a small chance of infection. So, a little extra precaution in large groups is advised.

But in general, “If you are fully vaccinated,” the CDC asserts, “you can start doing many things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”

Harvard Health further spells out what’s safe for vaccinated individuals, with and without masks.  “Mixing two or more households that have people who aren’t yet vaccinated raises the risk for getting the virus that causes COVID-19 for anyone who isn’t vaccinated,” they warn. This means the more people who are vaccinated, the fewer masks you may have to wear. 

Leaving on a Jet Plane

For many, travel has been a big absence during the COVID-19 pandemic. But if you are vaccinated, travel may now be less of a concern. “Studies analyzing vaccinated people in the real world show that not only are breakthrough COVID-19 cases rare,” assures ScienceNews,  “ . . . they also lessen the chances of severe disease.”

The Mayo Clinic also carefully spells out how the vaccine protects you and others from any potential exposure. 

Regular precautions such as mask-wearing, handwashing, and distancing when surrounded by others not in your household remain smart tactics, especially when traveling. But in 2020, CNN reported the likelihood of catching COVID-19 on a plane and based on this newer vaccine research, you may feel even safer. 

Gimme A Hug (Or Kiss!) 

The risk of transmission through contact decreases as more and more of you are vaccinated. This means that if you are vaccinated, and your son is vaccinated, and your grandma or dad is also vaccinated, you are all safer from the virus when you have that group hug or indoor lunch.

As Paul Pottinger, MD, an infectious disease doctor at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle told Everyday Health on April 28, 2021, “Hugs between two people are fine provided everyone is feeling well and is immunized.” 

A Sigh of Relief

In general, being vaccinated may reduce your level of emotional stress.

“I feel safer knowing that I’ve gotten both vaccinations,” nurse Diana DiMarcantonio Kott wrote for CNBC in February 2021. Though initial uncertainty about the vaccine may give you brief pause, the general sense of safety and well-being after receiving this medical protection could be worth even more. 

As Lynn Zakeri, a licensed clinical social worker in Skokie, Illinois told HuffPost after receiving her vaccine, “It’s very relieving — I like that everyone I know is going to feel the way I do.”

Do you have more questions or concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine and how it will protect you and your family? We’re here to help. Visit our website to contact us for more information, or call us at 770-463-4644. 

Common COVID-19 Vaccine Myths

There’s a lot of talk out there these days regarding COVID-19 vaccinations. We know it can be challenging to keep up.

Vaccinations are essential tools for preventative care. They protect against tetanus, measles, polio, and other communicable diseases. But they are particularly important when it comes to stopping the coronavirus pandemic.

At YourTown Health, we are passionately dedicated to protecting and improving your overall health. That’s why it’s so important for us to help you separate science from social media clickbait. We want you to know the truth.

Vaccinations Do Not Give You COVID-19

Though it’s true that some vaccines contain trace amounts of the weakened form of a live virus, that is not so in this case. Instead, the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines use Messenger RNA (mRNA), a substance found in all living cells. As MedlinePlus explains, mRNA vaccines introduce a molecule that corresponds to a virus protein (usually found in the virus’s outer membrane). Once this molecule “blueprint” has been injected, your own cells then dutifully follow the new instructions. They begin producing the viral protein, though not the virus itself.

Fast-acting on the defense, your immune system recognizes this protein as an intruder and begins building the antibodies to fight it. This is why some patients experience side effects after receiving the vaccine — but those are signs the shots are working. The antibodies your immune system produces against the new protein protect you from future infection from COVID-19.

The single Johnson & Johnson shot works in a similar way. The main difference is that it uses a disabled adenovirus to deliver the protein-building message to your cells, instead of mRNA.

Vaccinations Cannot Change Your DNA

As explained above, mRNA vaccines do introduce strands of genetic code that give your cells the instructions they need to produce the necessary viral protein and build protection against it. But they do not in any way change your DNA. Many resources, including GAVI The Vaccine Alliance, reassure that the cell nucleus (where our DNA is stored) remains unpenetrated and unaffected by the vaccine.

Research and Testing Were Thorough

It’s true that some vaccinations take years to develop, while all three COVID-19 vaccines were made available relatively quickly by comparison. But University of California San Francisco explains that this was in part because of significant government funding and because so many people enrolled in trials.

The research and development for mRNA vaccines have actually been underway for over thirty years. So, while it’s true that we have not yet had one in the market before, they have been studied for longer than we’ve had cell phones — and by scientists all over the world.

Even more confidence-building? While researching mRNA vaccines, developers also determined that, compared to traditional vaccines, these can actually generate a stronger type of immunity. They stimulate your body to make antibodies as well as immune system killer cells — providing a double attack against the virus.

One Shot of Moderna or Pzifer is Not Enough

Though previous distribution delays and complications of making appointments may have discouraged some from getting their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, even popular sources like Good Housekeeping report it’s important to get both. Think of it as a one-two punch for protection: The first dose primes your immune system and helps it build a virus-attacking “memory.” The second dose ensures the script is more properly memorized.

Studies are still ongoing regarding whether those who have previously had COVID-19 only need one shot, but as the National Institutes of Health reminds us, “the most important thing all of us can do to get this terrible pandemic under control is to follow the 3 W’s—wear our masks, wash our hands, watch our distance from others—and roll up our sleeves for the vaccine as soon as it’s available to us.”

Do you have more questions or concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine? Our team of healthcare professionals is ready and available to help. Visit our website to get in contact or call us at 770-463-4644.

Can My Appointment Be Virtual?

Virtual visits or “Telehealth” have become a crucial part of our healthcare system. But how do you know if Telehealth is right for you? And when should you see your provider in person instead? We have created this basic guide that can help you decide if Telehealth is right for you or if you should see your provider in person instead.

Appointments Best for Telehealth

Mayo Clinic suggests that a virtual visit can work well for minor illnesses, check-ins for ongoing health problems, and to consult the best next steps for any non-emergencies. Consider scheduling a Telehealth appointment for the following appointment types:

  • Behavior health service appointments, such as therapy or counseling
  • Check up appointments for chronic care
  • Common cold or cough
  • Basic skin conditions, like rashes
  • Post-surgical follow up appointments
  • Prescription refills
  • A time to ask your provider any questions

Appointments Best for In-Person

Even if you are considering a virtual appointment, communication with your provider is important. Before making an appointment, call your doctor to review your options. Conditions that are not emergent could still require immediate in-person attention from a doctor.

In general, it is best to see your provider in person for the following appointment types:

  • Annual physicals/exams
  • Appointments that would require tests, blood work, or urine collection
  • Infections
  • X-rays
  • Respiratory infections
  • Cuts and burns
  • Sinus infection
  • Worsening sore throat
  • Worsening cold or fever

Telehealth is Not a Solution for Emergencies

Telehealth is not good for emergencies. Call 9-1-1 or visit your local emergency facility if you or someone you know is experiencing the following:

  • Chest pain, pressure in your chest, shortness of breath; any symptoms of a heart attack
  • Sudden numbness, weakness, confusion, loss of vision; any symptoms of a stroke
  • Significant injury
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Heavy breathing
  • High fever
  • Possible broken bones

Telehealth is the future of our healthcare. However, in-person visits will also remain crucial. During the Coronavirus pandemic, if you are afraid of visiting your provider in person in fear of getting COVID-19; don’t be. Avoiding care could potentially lead to the onset of a serious medical condition or worsening of an existing one.

Reach out to your provider and understand the safety precautions that are being taken for in-person visits. And remember to follow best practices, as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, before, during, and after an in-person appointment. Continuing your regular healthcare appointments is vital in maintaining good health. Don’t delay these appointments but do consider Telehealth as an option if you and your provider have decided it’s appropriate for you.

Have any questions about Telehealth? At YourTown Health, we’re proud to offer Telehealth solutions to new and existing patients. Contact a YourTown Health office location to ask about a convenient virtual visit and to speak with our dedicated staff.

How Telehealth Is Fighting Against the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted our lives in ways we could never imagine. The same is true for the healthcare industry. One of the many challenges our industry has faced is continuing regular, in-person care for patients. Virtual visits or “Telehealth” have become a great solution for this. Although Telehealth services have been around for many years, the rise in popularity began at the start of the pandemic. In fact, it has now become the norm for healthcare providers to offer these services to patients.

Although there is value in seeing your provider in person, during the Coronavirus pandemic, Telehealth has become beneficial in fighting against the virus. Want to learn more? Continue reading below.

Allows More Patients to Be Seen

Telehealth allows for more patients to be seen, as the visits are completed more efficiently online or over the phone; saving both the physician and the patient time.

Prevents the Spread of COVID-19

With Telehealth, fewer patients are physically coming into the office for their visit. Therefore, preventing any spread of COVID-19 that might happen during their travel or time in the office. Fewer patients coming to the office means:

  • Fewer people in the waiting room. Telehealth is a great way for patients to stay in contact with their providers while staying safe.
  • Less face-to-face interaction between doctor and patients; protecting both the provider and patient.
  • Easier ability to keep six feet apart.
  • Allows more time to properly clean and sanitize the office.

We need to embrace Telehealth today, so we can continue to do all that is necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring our patients that need to be seen in person, can do so safely. It’s all about protecting ourselves and each other.

Do you have any questions about how Telehealth is fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic? At YourTown Health, we are proud to offer Telehealth solutions to new and existing patients. Contact a YourTown Health office location to ask about a convenient virtual visit or to speak with our dedicated staff.

How Telehealth Appointments Work

Telehealth is a great resource to use during the current COVID-19 pandemic and for appointments that might not require in-person examinations by your provider. 

Now that telehealth is more popular than ever, it’s good to familiarize yourself with the process and understand what happens during these virtual visits. This can lead to a more successful appointment!

Keep reading below to learn how telehealth appointments work. 

How Telehealth Appointments Work

Different healthcare practices have different processes for scheduling and administering a virtual visit. Generally, here’s what you can expect:

  • You will schedule your virtual visit appointment through a provider’s office.
  • Once your appointment has been scheduled, you’ll be provided with instructions on how to join your virtual visit. At the time of your appointment, you’ll enter a virtual waiting room.
  • Once the physician is ready, you’ll be “let into” the appointment.
  • Just like an in-person appointment, you will have plenty of time to speak with your physician during the virtual visit. 

How Telehealth Appointments Work At YourTown Health

At YourTown Health, we are proud to offer Telehealth solutions to new and existing patients. Our process for making an appointment may look a little different, but are easy to schedule:

  • Call a YourTown Health office location to make an appointment as you usually do.
  • Let the scheduler know that you’re interested in a virtual visit. If your visit requires that you see a provider in person, we will schedule you for an in-office visit appointment.
  • We’ll give you instructions on how to join your virtual telehealth appointment or how we will safely provide in-person care. 

What to Expect During a Telehealth Appointment

There is not much difference between telehealth appointments and in-person visits, except that the physician cannot physically examine you. During a telehealth appointment, you can still expect to discuss your medical history and lab results, present any concerns, ask questions, and even have prescriptions prescribed or filled. 

When Should You Not Use Telehealth?

Depending on the nature of your visit, your provider may decide whether an in-person or telehealth visit is appropriate for you. In general, telehealth appointments are not good for emergencies. For example, heart attack, stroke, lacerations, severe pain, difficulty breathing, or potential broken bones. For these situations, please call 9-1-1 or visit a local emergency facility. 

Contact a YourTown Health office location to ask about a convenient virtual visit.

The Benefits of Telehealth

To keep healthcare visits convenient and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual appointments conducted over phone or video (also known as “telehealth” or “telemedicine”) have been an important tool for patients and physicians. 

These virtual visits allow patients to receive important, often time-sensitive healthcare while minimizing exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Beyond its benefits during the pandemic, telehealth has made certain medical services more accessible, convenient, and affordable for patient’s long term. For that reason, telehealth solutions are here to stay. 

Interested in learning more? Keep reading to explore the benefits of telehealth. 

Increases Comfort and Convenience

When you take away the pressure of commuting to a healthcare appointment—especially when it involves taking a lot of time off work or finding childcare—scheduling telehealth appointments become more manageable with a busy schedule. Instead of driving across town to your appointment, which can take a few hours out of your day, your healthcare appointment is only a click or phone call away. Also, with telehealth, you do not need to drive great distances to your physician’s office or clinic or sit in a busy waiting room. Instead, your healthcare visit can be done from the comfort of your home. 

Reduces Anxiety or Fear of Doctors’ Offices

“Iatrophobia” is the fear of visiting the doctor, and affects about 3 percent of the population — triggered by a fear of getting bad news, according to Dr. Barbara Cox in an article for NBC News. 

Even patients without Iatrophobia can experience some anxiety and fear related to visiting doctor’s offices or when in medical environments. Individuals in both of these situations can find solace in telehealth solutions, where they can stay in a familiar, comfortable environment (often their home) while still receiving quality healthcare. 

Allows More Patients to Be Seen

Because telehealth visits offer greater convenience, they can often be less time consuming for both parties—patients and physicians. As patients continue to use these telehealth services, physicians can see more patients, both virtually and in-person. This has been especially beneficial during the pandemic, allowing the patients in need of in-person appointments to be seen more quickly and on shorter notices. 

Stops the Spread of Diseases

Although telehealth solutions have been around for several years, the global COVID-19 pandemic brought greater demand for these services. Knowing that physical distance (social distancing) and isolation helped slow the spread of the virus and ensured patient and staff safety, many healthcare facilities started offering telehealth services. As practices routed appointments that didn’t require an in-person examination to telehealth visits, in turn, allowed for more in-person visits for patients that required them.

At YourTown Health, we’re proud to offer telehealth solutions to new and existing patients. Contact a YourTown Health office location to ask about a convenient virtual visit.

Understanding Major Heart Diseases

Cardiovascular diseases, medical issues related to the heart and blood vessels, are the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States. In fact, one person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from these conditions. While these statistics are alarming, heart disease is both treatable and often preventable.

There is a wide range of conditions that fall under the category of “cardiovascular” or “heart disease.” With that in mind, it’s vital to know these conditions and their symptoms for early detection.

Arrhythmia

When there is a problem with the rate or rhythm of your heartbeat. It means that your heartbeat is either too fast, too slow, or irregular. In other words, your heart is not pumping blood effectively to your brain, lungs, and other organs. 

The most common symptoms of this disease are fatigue, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, chest pain, fainting, and shortness of breath. 

Cardiomyopathy

The heart becomes enlarged, thickened, or stiffened due to this disease. If not caught early, this disease can lead to heart failure. 

Symptoms include lightheadedness, shortness of breath, dizziness, irregular heartbeats, fatigue, swelling in the ankles, and fainting. 

Congenital Heart Defects

While other conditions we describe may develop over time, congenital heart defects appear at birth. Some examples include irregular heartbeats, leaky heart valves, and malformations in heart walls. While these conditions are present at birth, they sometimes are not discovered until later in life. 

Coronary Artery Disease 

Also called CAD, coronary artery disease causes the hardening and narrowing of your coronary arteries, later causing blockages and restricting blood flow to the heart. This condition is a common cause of heart attacks and strokes.

Symptoms of this disease include chest pain, weakness, pain in the arms, and shortness of breath. 

Heart Attack 

Probably the most common and well known on this list, a heart attack occurs when the flow of blood to the heart is cut off or severely reduced. This usually occurs due to the build-up of fat, cholesterol, or plaque. 

Chest pain, pain in the arms, shortness of breath, and feeling weak are all signs of a heart attack. It’s extremely important that if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms that you immediately call 911. 

Heart Failure 

When your heart’s pump is weaker than usual and causes blood to move slowly through your body, you’re experiencing heart failure. Symptoms include fatigue, inability to exercise, irregular heartbeat, persistent cough, shortness of breath, and swelling of your limbs. 

Peripheral Artery Disease 

This disease develops when the blood vessels outside the heart, also called the peripheral arteries, are clogged with fat, cholesterol, and plaque build-up. When this happens, the artery walls narrow, and the flow of blood to your tissues is restricted. This condition is another cause of kidney artery disease, stroke, and heart attack.

Symptoms include painful cramping, cold feet, sores that don’t heal, aching in the feet, leg numbness, and frequent infections. 

If you suspect you might be suffering from one of these major heart diseases, please visit your physician as soon as possible. In an emergency, please call 911 or visit your local emergency facility. Early detection is essential when it comes to heart diseases, which is why it’s important to regularly schedule physicals with your physician. You can schedule a visit with one of our physicians by clicking here or calling 770-463-4644. 

HIV & AIDS: Erasing Stigma by Embracing Education

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is considered one of the worst in our global history. In fact, there were approximately 38 million people around the world living with HIV/AIDS in 2019. Despite its massive impacts, there are still large amounts of misinformation and many damaging stigmas about HIV/AIDS within our society today. 

Debunking myths and sharing accurate information about these conditions is essential when fighting both the diseases themselves and the stigma surrounding them.

The Difference Between HIV and AIDS

What Is HIV?

HIV, which stands for “human immunodeficiency virus,” attacks a person’s immune system. More specifically, attacking the cells that fight against incoming infections. Meaning, anyone with this disease is much more vulnerable to other illnesses. It’s most commonly spread through bodily fluids, such as when someone has unprotected sex. 

Once a person contracts HIV, it’s with them for life. While it’s not curable, there are ways to help manage it. Approved medication and lifestyle choices allow people with HIV to live long and healthy lives with their loved ones. 

What Is AIDS?

AIDS is the last stage of HIV infection, in which the survival rate falls to about three years without proper medication. 

A person with HIV is considered to have AIDS when their blood cell count reaches a certain number (CD4 cells fall below 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood) or if they contract one or more serious infections. 

The good news is that most people with HIV do not progress to AIDS if they are taking medication. That’s why it’s vital to get tested often, especially if you’re having unprotected sex. Knowing if you have HIV as early as possible leads to more successful management.

Stigma Surrounding HIV & AIDS

HIV is one of the world’s worst epidemics and diseases, and it also has negative stigmas surrounding it. This illness most commonly impacts people in LGTBQIA+ communities. At the time HIV first appeared in 1981, those people were not widely accepted and faced many unfair prejudices. 

When this epidemic broke out, those who were unaccepting of LGTBQIA+ communities spread false information and prejudices about the disease, some of which still prevails to this day. Unfortunately, those negative consequences impact those who do have HIV or AIDS, as this stigma can lead to many not receiving fair treatment or being too embarrassed to talk about their own experiences. 

That’s why education and the spread of correct information are so vital! If you’d like to learn more about the prejudices, read this resource about how to stand up to the stigma facing this disease

Do you have any further questions? While our health experts are always here to help, we recommend also visiting HIV.gov, a resource for education on this topic. As mentioned above, annual testing for HIV & AIDS is essential for lifelong management. At YourTown Health, we’re proud to offer testing to our patients. 

If you would like to speak to one of our physicians or schedule testing, click here to contact us or call 770-463-4644.

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