World AIDS Day. Established in 1988 this is a day of remembrance for all those we have lost to HIV and AIDS as well as a time to note how far we've come--plus how much further there is to go. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) can lead to an AIDS status when a person's immune system reaches a very low level--a CD4 level that could be as reduced as the low hundreds or even single digits (to put that in perspective, someone without HIV could have a CD4 of 1600) this of course can result in a person getting sick easier with a variety of opportunistic infections. Whereas when AIDS was first identified decades ago it was thought of as a death sentence it now is a treatable chronic condition.
If you are sexually active you should always make sure to regularly get tested as you have no excuse to be unaware of your HIV status. I no longer currently work in Public Health as the premature birth of our son, Clarkson, resulted in my wife and I deciding together for me to stay home. That said, I still am passionate about Health and as I worked in Medical Case Management assisting individuals with HIV as well as informing people about it, I just wanted to make sure all my readers were aware what today was, and how I would encourage them to know their status. There are numerous places to get tested and should someone live in the Saint Louis region I would for sure encourage them to visit my former employer, Williams and Associates, for a free HIV test as well as safer-sex supplies!