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Legacy Newsroom

Published on November 26, 2014

World AIDS Day ribbon

World AIDS Day celebrated at Spartanburg Regional

Spartanburg Regional holds event remembering those living with HIV

Approximately 34 million people worldwide have HIV. To help fight the disease and make advancements in treatment, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS) is holding a ceremony in honor of World AIDS Day at 6 p.m. on Dec. 1 at the Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health.

World AIDS Day at SRHS will include music by Jason and Erin Metcalf and guest speaker Joann Doctor speaking on HIV. Please call 864-560-7503 for additional information. Recognized on December 1, World AIDS Day allows people to show their support to those living with HIV and remember those who have passed away. The day also helps educate people on how to protect themselves and others from HIV and work towards eliminating the stigma.

 

“HIV is still a serious issue around the world. As new medications come out, we are still working vigilantly to educate people on the patterns, causes and effects of HIV and AIDS,” said Theodore Grieshop, M.D., a physician specializing in infectious diseases.

What is HIV?

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that can hide in the cells of the body for long periods of time and attacks key parts of the immune system. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of the cells that the body can no longer fight infections or diseases.

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is the final stage of the HIV infection. Because people at this stage of HIV have badly damaged immune systems, they are at grave risk for other infections that cannot be fought off.

Living with HIV/AIDS Today

At the start of the epidemic in 1981, people who were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS could expect to live one to two years after a diagnosis. This meant that the issues of aging were not a major focus for people with HIV disease. New medications and treatments have changed that. Life expectancy for people with HIV disease has increased dramatically, which means that they now face the challenges of aging with HIV/AIDS.

How is HIV transmitted?

In the United States, HIV is spread mainly by having sex or sharing injection drug equipment such as needles with someone who has HIV.

Only certain fluids—blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids and breast milk—from an HIV-infected person can transmit HIV. These fluids must come in contact with a mucous membrane or damaged tissue or be directly injected into the bloodstream (from a needle or syringe) for transmission to possibly occur.

In the United States, HIV is spread mainly by:

  • Having sex with someone who has HIV.
  • Having multiple sex partners or having other sexually transmitted infections can increase the risk of infection through sex.
  • Sharing needles, syringes, rinse water or other equipment used to prepare injection drugs with someone who has HIV.

(Information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

 

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