Charlie Sheen's announcement that he is HIV-positive once again cast the disease back into the spotlight, reminding people it is no longer a death sentence.
Dr. Mark Anderson, CHI Memorial says "We've seen a lot of great gains.
Dr. Mark Anderson is an Infectious Disease Physician at CHI Memorial. He went on to say "When I started taking care of them, we didn't have any treatment and then inferior treatment until 1995/96, so now we have effective therapy."
And they now also have much needed federal funds through a new grant, which allows case manager Tania Mull to help patients get the assistance they need to survive.
Tania Mull says "For those who have no insurance at all there is the drug assistance program and medical services which helps them receive the HIV care they need."
Doctors say one of the keys to successful HIV management is keeping patients compliant with daily medications and appropriate routine monitoring. We've seen examples of that with one of the most famous HIV patients Magic Johnson who was diagnosed more than 20 years and appears to be leading a normal life.
Dr. Mark Anderson says "The virus can go into a dormant state, but if the drug is taken away it comes out of the dormant state and the infection will resume."
"It's very important because medical care is a struggle if they don't get the medical care then they can easily get sick and eventually die."
In addition to HIV drug assistance, the program also provides transportation,food, and dental help.
While great strides have been made in the fight against HIV and Aids, Dr. Anderson says the trend is heading in the wrong direction here in the Southeast.
Dr. Mark Anderson says "It's becoming more of an epidemic in this country of the Southeast and we're right in the middle of it."
Dr. Anderson says that has a lot to do with the high poverty areas.
Dr. Mark Anderson says "To see a group of people who were dying suffering with terrible infections, now treatment pulled them back from the brink of the grave."
Tania Mull M.B.A.
MEDICAL CASE MANAGER
WORLD AIDS DAY 2015
PRESENTED BY ALUMNAE CHAPTER OF DELTA SIGMA THETA, INC.
GUEST SPEAKER ELDER JACKIE HENDRICKS
ORCHARD KNOB MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH -FELLOWSHIP HALL