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What STDs Are Spread Through Blood?

You probably already know that STDs are transmitted through sexual contact. But did you know that some STDs can be transmitted through contact with blood?

Join ARCpoint Labs today as we share important information about bloodborne viruses (BBVs). We’ll also look at ways that you can protect yourself.

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STD Prevention for Travellers

July is peak season for vacationing. While on vacation, many of us find ourselves in a more relaxed state, enjoying tropical drinks, warm weather, and a slower pace. Unfortunately, this relaxed mind frame sometimes carries over to cause reduced vigilance about STD prevention.

It’s important that you make efforts to stay healthy while you are traveling. Here are some of the ways that you can work on STD prevention on vacation

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Why STD Testing is Important for Women

ARCpoint Labs | Why STD Testing is Important for WomenIf you’re a woman who has never contracted an STD, you might wonder why STD testing is important for you. Even if you’ve only slept with a few trusted partners or one person, you can catch an STD without knowing it — even from something so innocent as receiving a kiss on the cheek. Many people are unaware how easy it is to contract an STD, especially from someone who hasn’t completed STD testing and isn’t aware that they have the STD in the first place.

When you consider that more than 110 million Americans have an STD and an estimated 19 million more are infected per year, STD testing doesn’t seem like an unnecessary step. The likelihood that you know someone who currently has an STD constantly rises.

Still, many women think that STDs can’t or won’t happen to them. Wondering why you should consider STD testing? Here’s why.

STD Testing: Why It’s Necessary for Women

Unknowing Carriers

You might think that STD testing isn’t needed because your sexual partner(s) will let you know if they have or have had an STD. But just because someone has an STD doesn’t mean that they know it — only STD testing will reveal the truth. Many STDs have few symptoms or symptoms that are easily confused with other infections, including:

  • GonorrheaGonorrhea symptoms include pain and burning in urination, yellow or bloody discharge, abdominal pain, or heavy menstrual flow. Without STD testing, symptoms of this STD are often confused with bladder infection.
  • Chlamydia: 3/4 of women who have chlamydia exhibit and experience no symptoms, which is why STD testing is vital. Those who do have symptoms may also confuse them with symptoms of a bladder infection — including abnormal discharge from the vaginal, a burning sensation during urination, and spotting between menstruation.
  • Herpes: Symptoms of this STD, including  sores or rashes on your vagina or back, vaginal discharge, headaches, fever, muscle aches, and pain while urinating, may come and go as the years pass. Still, even when you do not exhibit signs of herpes, the virus remains in your nerve cells and can ultimately increase your risk of contracting HIV — which shows why STD testing is so important.
  • HIV: Research has shown that 21% of people in the US who are infected with HIV haven’t undergone STD testing and are thus undiagnosed. HIV symptoms, such as extreme exhaustion, rapid weight loss, fevers, night swears, diarrhea, coughing, and yeast infections, may not appear for years. This means that HIV-positive people could be unknowingly spreading the disease to others.

With STD testing, you will know if you or your sexual partner(s) have contracted any diseases in the past, which will prevent you from further spreading the infection.

Affects of STDs

STD testing does more than prevent the spread of diseases — it can also help you get treatment more quickly, which can prevent your STD from resulting in a very serious health problem. From infertility to cervical cancer to death, there are many long-term medical affects of STDs that can be avoided with simple STD testing. These affects include:

  • Chlamydia: If chlamydia spreads to your uterus or fallopian tubes, it may cause pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID. This disease is not easily cured and can permanently damage your fallopian tubes and uterus, leading to infertility, chronic pelvic pain, or even fatal ectopic pregnancy. After a positive diagnosis through STD testing, you can treat your chlamydia and prevent these outcomes.
  • Herpes: If you give birth vaginally when you have unknowingly carried the herpes virus, your baby could suffer blindness. STD testing is key when it comes to identifying and treating herpes.
  • Genital HPV: Some strains of HPV are linked to an increased risk of cervical cancer, vulvar cancer, vaginal cancer, and anal cancer, all of which have the potential to be fatal. When you and your partner receive STD testing, you can seek treatment for HPV if necessary.
  • HIV: When you contract HIV, your immune system weakens and makes you prone to contracting infections. HIV can lead to AIDS, a severe and often fatal autoimmune disorder. STD testing will help diagnose your HIV — and though there is currently no known cure for the disease, you can seek treatment to slow its progression.

These are just a few of the conditions that can result from STDs — there are countless other affects that could be treated or avoided by STD testing.

Get STD Testing Today

Ready to take charge of your health? ARCpoint Labs offers comprehensive STD testing at many of its facilities nationwide. Click here to see if STD testing is available at the ARCpoint location near you.

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Do We Have An HIV Cure on the Way?

If you’re older than 40, it might not be hard to imagine a world without the HIV epidemic. For those who were born later, a world without AIDS is incomprehensible. It’s been a part of our lives for many decades and until recently, it looked like it was never going away. But, thanks to technology and hope, it’s looking like medical research is helping uncover ways to treat … and hopefully cure … HIV.

Red-Ribbon-for-AIDs-awareness

A possible cure

In recent months, we’ve seen cases of people being functionally cured of HIV. This means that when patients received antiretroviral drugs early after the diagnosis, symptoms of the disease became nonexistent, yet the disease was still traceable in their systems.

Functional cures are great, but researchers in Denmark think they’re onto something even more special. The team at Aarhus University Hospital believe they’re on the brink of a breakthrough that would cure the disease permanently.

Their proposed solution involves forcing the virus to the DNA’s surface so the body’s immune system can kill it off.

“The challenge will be getting the patients’ immune system to recognize the virus and destroy it. This depends on the strength and sensitivity of individual immune systems,” Dr. Soggard, a senior researcher in the department of infectious disease at Aarhus.

Good luck and God’s Speed

Every so often, researches claim they’re close to figuring this out. It can be easy to excuse this as just another empty promise. We hope this isn’t the case. We want to send our best wishes to the team in Denmark and all other medical researchers scrambling to eradicate HIV. Though we know progress through research can take a great amount of time, it is our hope that researchers have great resources and can cure HIV.

 For more awareness on HIV and  STD prevention, let ARCpoint Labs be a guide for you.

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Freddie Mercury – Celebs with HIV

“Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

Freddie-Mercury-HIV-positive

For Queen front man, Freddie Mercury, HIV was very real.  After living with the disease and it eventually progressing to AIDS, the British rocker succumbed to bronchopneumonia.  The loss came on November 24, 1991, just a day after Mercury went public with the diagnosis of the disease.

Mercury was known, by the fans, for his wide vocal range and his flamboyant on-stage personality.  Toward the end of his life, allegedly due to his diagnosis of the disease in 1987, Mercury shied away from the public eye he had so crazily embraced. Despite Mercury’s crazy lifestyle, his death still came as a shock to many.

“Oh my God. I’m devastated. It’s a huge shock,” said American singer, Cher, who’s backup dancer had died of AIDs the previous week. (source)

“This is a tragedy. I had the greatest admiration and a lot of affection for him,” said rock legend Phil Collins. (source)

Mercury Was Fearless

Mercury claimed he didn’t fear death because he’d “lived so well”.  Mercury himself claimed he’d lived a promiscuous life but the diagnosis of HIV made him clean up his behavior.

“I was totally devastated when I heard about my friends who have died from AIDS, it brought the seriousness of the illness home to me. When you’re young it is so much harder. I was thinking the other day – We’re lucky we’ve sown our wild oats – but they are just starting. It is something the young have got to get to grips with.” (source)

Mercury hoped that telling the world of his illness would raise awareness inspire people to fight against HIV.  His admission and death rocked everyone he touched, but his fearlessness was noted.  Although he wished to continue on, his HIV progressed to AIDS. Just one day later he was gone.

Advancements for HIV

Since Mercury’s death, many advancements have been made in the fight against HIV. Celebs in the spotlight, such as Queen’s lead singer, have given a face to the disease and propelled new research and more awareness. Nowadays, if you test HIV positive, medications are available to lessen side effects and attempt to prevent it turning into AIDS. Just look at Magic Johnson for inspiration.

If there’s any chance you could be HIV positive, don’t wait to be tested. Rapid HIV results can be returned within 20 minutes.

 

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Bush’s Fight Against AIDs Impresses Celebs

British rocker Elton John was no fan of George W. Bush during his presidency.  He opposed the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and called the former president “the worst thing that ever happened to America”.  Recently John, a gay man and AIDs activist, has voiced praise for Bush, explaining that his contributions in the fight against AIDs have been tremendous.  John explained:

“I found him well informed and I found him determined to do something about the AIDS situation so I changed my opinion of him…I learned a lesson.” (source)

He also spoke to Bush’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Prevention, or PEPFAR, which has raised $15 billion to help with AIDs treatment and prevention.

Elton-John-in-Norway

Other Celebs support Bush’s Efforts

Former “Will and Grace” actress Debra Messing was also critical of Bush during his presidency, but explained why PEPFAR was so important:

“President Bush created PEPFAR.  That’s one of the most important contributions to this fight made by anybody, by any living president. So I think that regardless of his other policies, or how you feel about how he was as a president, anybody who is an advocate and trying to support global health has so much to thank the former President Bush for.”

About PEPFAR

PEPFAR, founded in 2003, describes itself as “the U.S. Government initiative to help save the lives of those suffering from HIV/AIDS around the world. This historic commitment is the largest by any nation to combat a single disease internationally, and PEPFAR investments also help alleviate suffering from other diseases across the global health spectrum. PEPFAR is driven by a shared responsibility among donor and partner nations and others to make smart investments to save lives.”  You can find out more information about PEPFAR, its programs, and its goals on its official page.

AIDs affects 33 million people.  In the United States, 1.1 million people are HIV positive, and over 56,000 are infected with the AIDs virus.  Throughout the years it has killed over 25 million people, including over 530,000 Americans (source).  Healthcare professionals and researchers are continuously working hard to treat and prevent AIDs, but it’s up to us as individuals to have the facts on how to prevent it.  One of the first steps is routine testing for HIV.

 

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