World AIDS day is this Thursday, December 1. In addition to reminding all care providers to reflect on the impact of HIV and AIDS in our lives, this day serves as a call to action to continue to improve our preventative efforts.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends these important steps:
- Everyone can ask your doctor for an HIV test and learn how to protect yourself and others. If you have HIV, seek medical care as soon as possible.
- Health Departments and Communities can create programs and policies that encourage and support HIV testing and getting everyone with HIV into medical care and prevention counseling/services.
- Healthcare providers can offer patients HIV tests as a regular part of medical care, provide appropriate medication to patients with HIV and make sure the virus is reduced to very low levels. They can also provide prevention counseling and services to help prevent the spread of HIV.