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Archive for the 'HIV' Category

Educating Youth on HIV/AIDs

Being a parent isn’t easy. It’s necessary to protect and guide children through any number of pitfalls, and that includes having some difficult conversations. One of those relates to the dangers of AIDS and the necessity for HIV testing.

One of those relates to the dangers of AIDS and the necessity for HIV testing.

As a parent, it can be hard to know how to begin educating your kids on such serious topics. We’re providing some context and suggestions for initiating discussions with your teens.

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HIV/AIDS Awareness for Women & Girls

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) takes place every March. It’s time to talk candidly about a subject that affects over 37 million people throughout the world.

Statistics show that one out of four people living with HIV are female and only half of them are receiving care. Even more alarming is the fact that only 4 out of 10 women with HIV have the virus under control.

Here’s what women and girls should know about HIV/AIDS prevention.

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HIV Cases Down 20% in the U.S.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made news this month with its report stating that HIV diagnoses have fallen dramatically overall in the past 10 years. Overall diagnoses of HIV decreased by about 20% from 2005 to 2014. This is huge progress, especially considering the statistics 30 years ago when the U.S. had its first documented cases of the virus. However, there’s more to these new statistics than first meets the eye.

HIV Cases Decreasing?

Will the overall numbers seem to paint a pretty picture for the reduction of the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the U.S., some groups of people have seen troubling increases in instances of HIV. The group that has seen the highest increase is the African-American gay and bisexual community. In fact, the CDC reported that there has been about an 87% increase in the number of HIV diagnoses in 13-24-year-old African-American gay and bisexual males and Latino gay and bisexual males. Why have these groups experienced such an increase? There are several factors, most importantly including the low rate of condom use and the high rate of individuals who have not been tested and don’t know that they are HIV-positive.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are the more encouraging overall numbers. In heterosexual adults, the number of cases has decreased by 35%. Women, in particular, have experienced a 40% decline, while African-Americans overall have seen cases go down by 22%. While these numbers are encouraging, it is important to be aware that for many people in the U.S., the dangers of contracting HIV are higher than ever.

The Importance of Testing

As shown by the CDC’s recent report, one of the most important tools in preventing the spread of HIV is getting tested. TEST SMARTLY LABS nationwide provide accurate, confidential STD and HIV testing services. To learn more, contact your nearest TEST SMARTLY LABS today!

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Need to Prove You Disclosed Your HIV Status? One App Can Do Just That

HIV Status

We’ve talked about how apps can both contribute to the spread of STDs and also help prevent them.

Now, a new smartphone app may help HIV positive people disclose their status to sexual partners and avoid criminal cases.

Here are the details on the program and why it could prove useful!

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The Basics on Viral STDs

Viral STDs

When it comes to STDs, most people don’t have much knowledge on the topic beyond what STD stands for and the basics on prevention.

One differentiation between bacterial STDs and viral STDs is not always so obvious to the layman.

Today, we’re explaining what separates the two and profiling a few of the most common viral STDs.

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Living with HIV

Testing positive for HIV is a terrifying moment. It’s something that you never think will happen to you, and when it does it seems like your worst nightmare. HIV is a life-threatening virus that can progress to AIDS, and it affects millions of people worldwide. However, recent advances in technology and medicine have luckily made living with HIV a realistic idea, especially with early detection and proper treatment. Read on to learn more about how to stay healthy while living with HIV.


It’s important to realize that testing positive for HIV does not mean that you have AIDS. Today, many people live with HIV for years and even decades without the virus progressing to AIDS. You can live a healthy life with HIV for many years if you educate yourself about the disease and take the right steps to get treatment. See your doctor regularly and follow your doctor’s guidance and advice, and you may even live a normal life span. There is no cure for HIV or AIDS at this time, but the right treatment will help to keep the virus levels low, either by interfering with the proteins it needs to copy itself, or by blocking it from inserting its genetic material into your immune cells.

Importance of Testing

It’s impossible to know that you have HIV simply by its symptoms. Some people don’t have any symptoms for years, while other get flu-like symptoms just weeks after infection. The only way to know whether or not you have HIV is to get regular testing, especially if you have multiple sexual partners or use shared IV drugs. HIV is not transmitted through casual contact, such as kissing or sharing the same glass. HIV is only passed through bodily fluids, such as during sexual intercourse or through the blood. However, anyone can get HIV. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, young or old, heterosexual or homosexual. No one is immune to this virus.

For your HIV test, contact your nearest TEST SMARTLY LABS today.

Staying Healthy & Protecting Others

If you and your partner both have HIV, it is still important to use protection during sexual intercourse. Different strains of the virus can be resistant to HIV medications, and you are still at risk for contracting other sexually transmitted diseases, so using a condom can help protect you and your partner from both of these risks. If you have HIV and become pregnant, there are ways to help protect your baby from contracting the virus during delivery. Appropriate care and medications prescribed by your doctor are the best ways to protect your baby. The best way to reduce your risk of contracting other viruses and diseases because of a weakened immune system is to take your HIV medications. You should also try to minimize exposure to certain germs by staying away from undercooked meat, litter boxes, and any water that could be contaminated.

Staying healthy and living a normal life with HIV is not impossible. The first step is getting tested. Contact your nearest TEST SMARTLY LABS today for your HIV test.

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Why Appalachia is Bracing for an HIV Epidemic

If the rising rates of Hepatitis C are any indication, states in the Appalachian region may soon see an outbreak of HIV diagnoses. Research suggests that levels of intravenous drug use are particularly high throughout the region, and officials expect to see those numbers continue to climb.

The epidemic of people using needles to get high brings with it many dangers, and few solutions are obvious.

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What States are Struggling Most with STD-Related Deaths?

STDs are a problem in every state, but a recent publication from the Centers for Disease Control suggests that certain states are seeing particularly high numbers of deaths from STDs. By becoming familiar with which STDs are causing problems in particular regions, it’s possible for public health agencies to craft appropriate response and prevention programs. Such information can also help the public be aware of outbreaks in their area so they can better protect themselves.

Here are the states and regions in which STDs seem to be the biggest problem.

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2013 STD Report Released

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released the 2013 STD Report detailing the prevalence of STDs in America.

Here’s what you need to know about US STD trends and how the details have changed approaches to STD prevention.

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Ways to Celebrate World AIDS Day

December 1 marks an important moment in the fight against HIV/AIDS: it’s World AIDS Day, a time for remembrance and education.

We’re sharing 4 ways you can celebrate World AIDS Day this year.

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