Every year, on December 1, people worldwide commemorate World Aids Day. This is a dedicated day to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS, and honor those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded 33 years ago in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.
Why Is World Aids Day Important?
Currently, there are an estimated 38 million people worldwide infected with the HIV virus. Despite the virus being identified less than 40 years ago, in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS related illnesses. This makes it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
In their new #WorldAIDSDay report, UNAIDS calls on global leaders to focus on 5 major elements that are currently under-funded and under-prioritized:
- Community-based infrastructure
- Equitable access to meds, vaccines & health tech
- Supporting workers on front lines
- Human rights at centre of pandemic responses
- People-centred data systems
UNAIDS warns that, if leaders fail to tackle inequalities, the world could face 7.7 million more AIDS-related deaths over the next decade.
What is the Difference between HIV and AIDS?
Many people get confused about the difference between HIV and AIDS. The Center of Disease Control explains the difference between the two. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is the third and most severe phase of HIV infection.
Because there is no cure for HIV, once an individual is infected with the virus, they have it for life. However, that does not mean hope is lost. With proper medical treatment, the progression of HIV to AIDS can be avoided. Many people with HIV live long, healthy lives and protect their partners from becoming infected with the virus.
Who is most affected by HIV?
No matter your gender or sexual preferences is it essential for everyone to sit down and think through whether or not their actions might put them at risk of contracting HIV. If you think they might, run the idea by your primary care doctor.
Research shows that individuals who are most at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS are:
- Men who have sex with men
- Individuals who engage in sex work
- Individuals who share needles
- Individuals who frequently change sexual partners
- Transgender folks who are the receptive partners in anal sex (more commonly known as bottoming)
- Heterosexual men and women who are HIV negative who are in a relationship with an HIV-positive partner
How Apicha CHC Can Help You
For over 30 years, Apicha CHC has been dedicated to helping New York City's most vulnerable populations combat HIV and AIDS. In fact, Apicha was founded in 1989 to address unmet HIV/AIDS-related needs of Asians and Pacific Islanders in New York City. Now, we are a full-fledged Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). Here are just a few ways that we can help you:
1. HIV Testing
We provide completely confidential HIV testing services at Apicha CHC. To sign up for our HIV Testing services, click here and select HIV/STD testing from the drop down.
2. We can get you PrEP
If you become part of Apicha CHC's PrEP Program, you will be assigned a medical provider at Apicha CHC who will assess whether PrEP is right for you and will prescribe you Truvada as PrEP.
Our PrEP staff can also help you:
- Enroll in insurance or sign you up for special PrEP cost programs
- Set up your appointments
- Remind you when your pills are running out
- You can easily pick-up your prescription at Apicha CHC's brand new in-house pharmacy or you can use our free delivery service!
You can request an appointment to get started on PrEP here. Be sure to select appointment type as "Access to PrEP/PEP".
Apicha CHC's PrEP line number: (646) 740-6392.
3. Become a part of our HIV Clinic
If you know you're HIV-positive and don't currently have a medical provider or aren't happy with the one you do have, feel free to become a part of the Apicha CHC family.
You can request an appointment here. Be sure to select appointment type as "Primary Medical Care".
You can request a PrEP or PEP appointment with Apicha CHC here.