"World AIDS Day"

By: Jessica Leicht Email
By: Jessica Leicht Email

Today President Obama observed “World AIDS Day.”

The World Health Organization established “World Aids Day” in 1988, to commemorate those lost HIV/AIDS, give support to people living with the disease and help raise awareness.

More than 33 million people worldwide are currently living with HIV/AIDS.

"It's really not a certain age group. It's anyone, anyone is at risk no one is exempt," Health Educator Neice Danzey said.

Since no one is exempt, educators say awareness is key to the fight against the disease.

"It'll help stop the spread of HIV, it'll lower the new cases that we're getting," Danzey said.

"The more the community is involved, the more they understand it, the more we can help others understand the importance of prevention," Houston County Health Department’s Assistant Administrator Corey Kirkland said.

Health experts say that prevention starts with you.

"The first thing to do is get tested, the second thing is to either abstain from having sex or have protected sex," Danzey said.

The Medical Aids Outreach of Dothan recommends getting tested once a year if you're in a monogamous relationship.

If you have more sexual partners they recommend to test at least every three to six months.

"The test is very simple. It's very painless results can come back to you very quickly so it's not a lot of sitting around and waiting," Kirkland said.

Both the Houston County Health Department and the Medical Aids Outreach of Dothan offer free oral or blood testing.

"It's best to know your status than to walk around not knowing. That's I think more fear you know walking around not knowing that you have HIV. So it's best to come in, get tested, even if you go through your doctor's office," Danzey said.

Montgomery AIDS Outreach: 334-673-0494
Houston County Health Department: (334) 678-2800

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