National HIV Testing Day is June 27!

Some quoted excerpts from AIDS.gov:

“HIV” stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. To understand what that means, let’s break it down:

  • HHuman – This particular virus can only infect human beings.
  • IImmunodeficiency – HIV weakens your immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. A “deficient” immune system can’t protect you.
  • VVirus – A virus can only reproduce itself by taking over a cell in the body of its host.

HIV is a lot like other viruses, including those that cause the “flu” or the common cold. But there is an important difference – over time, your immune system can clear most viruses out of your body. That isn’t the case with HIV – the human immune system can’t seem to get rid of it. That means that once you have HIV, you have it for life.

CDC estimates that 1,201,100 persons aged 13 years and older are living with HIV infection, including 168,300 (14%) who are unaware of their infection. Over the past decade, the number of people living with HIV has increased, while the annual number of new HIV infections has remained relatively stable. Still, the pace of new infections continues at far too high a level—particularly among certain groups.

Within 2-4 weeks after HIV infection, many, but not all, people experience flu-like symptoms, often described as the “worst flu ever.” This is called “acute retroviral syndrome” (ARS) or “primary HIV infection,” and it’s the body’s natural response to the HIV infection.

Symptoms can include:

  • Fever (this is the most common symptom)
  • Swollen glands
  • Sore throat
  • Rash
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint aches and pains
  • Headache

These symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. However, you should not assume you have HIV if you have any of these symptoms. Each of these symptoms can be caused by other illnesses. Conversely, not everyone who is infected with HIV develops ARS. Many people who are infected with HIV do not have any symptoms at all for 10 years or more.

Today is the day to get tested if you think you are potentially at risk of contracting HIV. Call your doctor or check out the AIDS test site locator to find a place near you for testing.

 

June 15-21 is National Men’s Health Week!

June is Men's Health Month

June 15-21 is National Men’s Health Week! During this week, men should attempt to make at least one change in their lives that will help improve their health. From menshealthmonth.org:

The purpose of Men’s Health Week is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.

This week gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. The response has been overwhelming with hundreds of awareness activities in the USA and around the globe. For a partial list of activities, click here.

Read moreJune 15-21 is National Men’s Health Week!

April 25 is Healthy Kids Day!

Healthy Kids Day is an annual initiative created and sponsored by the YMCA. Here is a description of the Health Holiday from their website:

Summer is the time for kids to get up, get out and grow. But for some kids, exposure to activities that stimulate the body and mind ends with the school year. In fact, research shows that kids are prone to gain more weight and fall behind in studies. On April 25, the Y will celebrate Healthy Kids Day®, our national initiative to improve the health and well-being of kids.

The goal of the holiday is to raise awareness for negative impact that unhealthy childhood eating and exercising habits have throughout a child’s life and make it a priority to develop healthy habits at an early age. This site has a lot of useful information that parents can read to make sure they are enabling their children to be able to lead a healthy lifestyle as adults. Here are a couple excerpts:

Read moreApril 25 is Healthy Kids Day!