Health professionals remember those affected by HIV on World AIDS Day
WACO, Texas – December 1 is World AIDS Day, a day to remember the lives lost to HIV, as well as to celebrate medical advancements made over the decades.
“It is a day when we remember those we have lost and celebrate those who are still with us, but it is also a day to remind ourselves that we still have this disease with us”, Rob Faubion, President Member of the HIV & Aging Conference, mentioned.
And Faubion knows firsthand how AIDS can impact a person’s life.
“My husband has been HIV positive for over 30 years,” said Faubion. “We still do not have a cure for HIV or AIDS and it is still a threat to the health of many in our community. “
But, there are ways to stop the spread and protect yourself, and doctors are encouraging the community to get tested for HIV.
“Knowing your status and knowing the status of your partner is really important. We have drugs that control not only HIV but its spread, ”said Kelly Craine of the Waco-McLennan County Health District.
While doctors are still working to find a cure, the medical field has made incredible strides over the past 30 years.
“This is the first generation who will die with HIV, not HIV,” said Faubion.
“HIV used to be a death sentence,” Craine explained. “Now, with the right treatment and early detection, you can live a long, happy and healthy life.
And Faubion’s husband is living proof of that.
“He’s in excellent health, his viral load is undetectable, his T-cell count is at its peak, so for all intents and purposes his disease is under control,” Faubion said.
And health experts believe that with more technology and research, we are getting closer and closer to a cure.
“Times have changed, medicines have improved, understanding of HIV has changed and now we can celebrate so many important achievements that have been made,” Craine said.
On Friday, December 3, the health district will host a free HIV testing event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Everyone is welcome to get tested and attendees will also receive gift cards.