This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.On Saturday, Dec. 1, Carson City Health and Human Services will join thousands of other health care providers and clinics across the country to celebrate World AIDS Day. While we observe world AIDS Day on Dec. 1, the health department provides HIV/AIDS services year-round.Through a grant provided by the Ryan White Program, the health department employs a service coordinator who assists HIV-infected individuals with receiving care and medicine. Ryan White is a national program that works with cities, states and local community-based organizations to provide HIV-related services to more than half a million people each year. The program is for those who do not have sufficient health care coverage or financial resources for coping with HIV disease. The HIV services coordinator provides case management, education and support group services to those with HIV and their families, as well as referrals to area health care providers. Another service offered at Carson City Health and Human Services is HIV testing. Having an HIV test is fast and easy. The simple blood test involves a quick finger stick, takes only 15 minutes to get results, and is completely confidential. No appointment is necessary for HIV testing in our clinic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Carson City Health and Human Services recommend routine testing for all individuals ages 13-64. Those who engage in high-risk sexual behavior or use intravenous drugs may need more frequent testing. If you aren’t sure about your risk factors for HIV, call the health clinic to speak to a nurse. HIV testing is the key to prevention, as the CDC estimates that one in five people with HIV in the United States is not aware they are infected and could be passing the infection along to their partners. Early diagnosis is critical for people who are HIV positive, so they can benefit from treatment. New treatments have allowed HIV-positive people to live longer, healthier lives.For more information about other HIV testing, Ryan White Program services, or Health Department services, check out our website at www.gethealthycarsoncity.org or visit us at www.facebook.com/cchhs.Food for Flu is back! Beginning Monday, bring in two nonperishable food items to receive a voucher for a free flu vaccine. If you have not yet received your flu shot, this is a great opportunity for you to receive it while helping to feed the hungry in our community.
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