Clarksville, Tennessee - 04/02/2017 - ImpactHIV 2017 is a forum to address concerns and advancements of HIV within the Clarksville Area. The event is being offered in cooperation with the Montgomery County Health Department in order to promote the spread of knowledge and information within the community about HIV, as well as help reduce the stigmas associated with the virus. The event will be held at William O. Beach Civic Hall located at 350 Pageant Lane in Clarksville, TN on April 28, 2017 from 6pm-8pm.
ImpactHIV is organized in the hopes to be an annual event, open to the general public where they can receive the latest advancements in HIV treatment and care as well as ask questions important to them in a non-judgemental, inclusive, non-alienating, and safe environment. We are asking all COMMUNITY AND HEALTH LEADERS to attend, but openly welcome ALL MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY.
What is HIV?
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. If left untreated, HIV can lead to the disease AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
Unlike some other viruses, the human body can’t get rid of HIV completely. So once you have HIV, you have it for life.
HIV attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells (T cells), which help the immune system fight off infections. If left untreated, HIV reduces the number of CD4 cells (T cells) in the body, making the person more likely to get infections or infection-related cancers. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease. These opportunistic infections or cancers take advantage of a very weak immune system and signal that the person has AIDS, the last state of HIV infection.
No effective cure for HIV currently exists, but with proper treatment and medical care, HIV can be controlled. The medicine used to treat HIV is called antiretroviral therapy or ART. If taken the right way, every day, this medicine can dramatically prolong the lives of many people with HIV, keep them healthy, and greatly lower their chance of transmitting the virus to others. Today, a person who is diagnosed with HIV, treated before the disease is far advanced, and stays on treatment can live a nearly as long as someone who does not have HIV.
The only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested. Testing is relatively simple. You can ask your healthcare provider for an HIV test. Many medical clinics, substance abuse programs, community health centers, and hospitals offer them too. You can also buy a home testing kit at a pharmacy or online.
HIV by the Numbers
- More than 1.2 million people in the US are living with HIV, and 1 in 8 of them don’t know it.
- From 2005 to 2014, the annual number of new HIV diagnoses declined 19%.
- Gay and bisexual men, particularly young African American gay and bisexual men, are most affected.
In 2015, 39,513 people were diagnosed with HIV infection in the United States. The number of new HIV diagnoses fell 19% from 2005 to 2014. Because HIV testing has remained stable or increased in recent years, this decrease in diagnoses suggests a true decline in new infections. The decrease may be due to targeted HIV prevention efforts. However, progress has been uneven and diagnoses have increased among a few groups.
By age, of persons diagnosed with HIV in the United States in 2015
- 4% (1,723) were aged 13-19
- 37% (14,594) were aged 20-29
- 24% (9,631) were aged 30-39
- 17% (6,720) were aged 40-49
- 12% (4,870) were aged 50-59
- 5% (1,855) were aged 60 and over.
The burden of HIV and AIDS is not evenly distributed geographically. The population rates (per 100,000 people) of persons diagnosed with HIV infection in 2015 were highest in the South (16.8), followed by the Northeast (11.6), the West (9.8), and the Midwest (7.6).g The South generally is behind other regions in some key HIV prevention and care indicators.
Living with HIV
At the end of 2013, the most recent year for which such data are available, an estimated 1,242,000 adults and adolescents were living with HIV. An estimated 161,200 (13%) had not been diagnosed. Young people were the most likely to be unaware of their infection. Among people aged 13-24, an estimated 51% (31,300) of those living with HIV didn’t know.
AIDS Diagnoses and Deaths
In 2015, 18,303 people were diagnosed with AIDS. Since the epidemic began in the early 1980s, 1,216,917 people have been diagnosed with AIDS.
In 2014, there were 12,333 deaths (due to any cause) of people with diagnosed HIV infection ever classified as AIDS, and 6,721 deaths were attributed directly to HIV.