Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Black To Life… For A Healthier You

Be aware, protect yourself

BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES

For information about examinations, please contact the Las Vegas All Women’s Care offices at (702) 522-9640, or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane No. 165 (1st floor) in Las Vegas.

March is National Women & Girls HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)/AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) Awareness Month.

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. It weakens your body’s natural defenses, making it hard for your body to fight off health problems that it could normally resist. As time goes on, your body becomes less able to fight off diseases.

It is no secret that African-Americans are infected with HIV at higher rates than other ethnic groups — and today, women account for about one in four new HIV/AIDS cases in the United States. Of these newly infected women, about 2/3 are African-American. Most of these women are infected through unprotected sex with a man.

Everyone should be mindful of HIV/AIDS, and remain vigilant about practicing healthy choices when indulging in sexual behavior. It is important to be proactively tested for HIV/AIDS for reassurance that your sexual choices are safe.

The subject of HIV/AIDS is one that we do not discuss often enough, primarily due to the negative connotations associated with the disease. It is important to have conversations about it with our family members — especially younger girls who might be exploring sexual activities often with multiple partners.

It is wise to have conversations with young girls who are sexually active about how to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS. Some of those protective options include:

  • Using latex condoms every time you have any kind of sex —vaginal, oral or anal.
  • If you inject drugs — and cannot or will not stop — do not share needles, syringes or other items used to prepare drugs.
  • Be faithful. Only have sex with an uninfected partner who only has sex with you.

Another way HIV is spread is from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy or delivery. If you are expecting a child, be wise and make an appointment with your OB-GYN or call Las Vegas All Women’s Care for a screening to ensure both you and your baby are healthy.

For additional information, contact the Las Vegas All Women’s Care offices at (702) 522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane No. 165 (1st floor) in Las Vegas.

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