Get Healthy Carson City: World AIDS Day

Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day. This purpose of this day is to raise awareness that HIV/AIDS is still among us, a day to unite with others around the world to prevent HIV, support people with HIV, and remember those who have lost their lives to an HIV-related illness. Many believe the disease is no longer a threat, while others may tone it out, and many think only targeted populations can get it.

For decades this deadly virus has taken the lives of 36 million individuals (Mark Cichocki, Medical Expert Board, Updated: Nov. 3, 2021). The United States currently has 1.2 million people living with HIV, and in 2019, there were 34,800 new infections diagnosed. An estimated 1 in 8 people diagnosed did not know they had it. (The HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the United States: The Basics: June 7, 2021). We have made enormous strides in HIV/AIDS treatment, care, and prevention since the epidemic began 40 years ago. HIV/AIDS was once the leading cause of death for young people.

The treatment is constantly evolving, and it took years before drugs could make living with HIV/AIDS even possible; however, that was only for those who could afford it. Today, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Ryan White Program have diligently worked with experts in pharmacies and the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services to fund services to help individuals diagnosed with HIV get the medical treatment they need.

At Carson City Health and Human Services, we have clinical services staff available to test individuals, answer questions, and provide condoms. It is recommended that anyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should get tested for HIV at least once as part of their routine health exam. Those individuals that have had more than one sex partner or are having sex with someone whose sexual history they don’t know should get tested more often.

Big strides have been made to reduce an individual’s chance of getting HIV from sex or injection drug use with the introduction of PrEP (pre-exposure medication). Also, available are anti-viral medications for individuals that already have HIV/AIDS. Individuals with HIV/AIDS taking medication regularly as prescribed can live a full life and not spread the disease to others. It needs to be remembered that individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS will always have the disease; however, there are medications that help reduce the risk of spreading or catching the disease and assist with living a full life. An HIV diagnosis is no longer a death sentence.

Stop by Carson City Health and Human Services; 900 E. Long Street; Carson City, today and during the month of December to see how your local health department is recognizing World AIDS Day. This is the second year that an art exhibit telling people’s stories is on display in the lobby. Please come and enjoy art that is on display from individuals around the world. On Dec. 1, our Ryan White Treatment Adherence Counselor will be available to provide information about HIV/AIDS services provided, medications available, prevention, and how to get tested.

Please visit us at 900 E Long St., in Carson City. “Like” us on Facebook at, follow us on Twitter @CCHealthEd


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