The Lasting Impact of Ryan White

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On January 16, 2019, it will have been 30 years since the airing of "The Ryan White Story" on television. Ryan White grew up in Kokomo, Indiana. At a young age he was diagnosed with severe hemophilia A, a hereditary blood coagulation disorder which made even small injuries result in severe bleeding.[1] At the time, common treatment for hemophiliacs was weekly infusions of factor VIII, a blood product created from pooled plasma of non-hemophiliacs.[2] In December of 1984, Ryan was treated for pneumonia and subsequently diagnosed with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) at age 13. He was one of the first children with hemophilia to be diagnosed with AIDS as a result of a tainted factor VIII infusion.[3] Ryan was told he had six months to live. At the time, the…
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How Technology Can Help with HIV Treatments

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Technology is fast moving, and the world is still trying to adapt. There are apps for everything: getting your groceries delivered, finding the best deal online, seeing what public restrooms nearby are regularly cleaned. If you’ve ever struggled with it, there’s probably an app trying to make it easier. But how can apps help with HIV medications and treatments? Starting with the basics, there are the functions available on most cell phones: alarms. Many individuals use alarms and calendar reminders in case they forget or get side tracked when it comes to taking their medications at the correct intervals. Many people with smartphones also utilize medication reminder applications. The most popular medication app for iPhones is currently Medisafe – Pill & Med Reminder[1]. This app not only reminds patients when…
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World AIDS Day 2018

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December 1, 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day. World AIDS Day is an international day of awareness, dedicated to educating the populace about the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. The day also mourns those we have lost due to the disease. World AIDS Day began with two public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS (now known as UNAIDS) at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter proposed the idea to the program director, Dr. Jonathan Munn who approved and supported its observance on December 1[1]. This date was chosen because Bunn, a former television broadcast journalist, believed it would maximize the coverage of the event by western media as it was long enough after US…
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Transgender Day of Remembrance

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Each year, November 20 is set aside to observe Transgender Day of Remembrance which honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. Transgender Day of Remembrance was begun by transgender activist Gwendolyn Ann Smith in 1999. It started with a vigil to honor Rita Hester, a highly visible member of the Boston transgender community. She worked locally to bring education and awareness around transgender issues.  On November 18, 1998, Rita was stabbed 20 times in her apartment. A neighbor called the police and Rita was rushed to the hospital where she passed away from cardiac arrest moments after being admitted. Though no official motive was found for the murder, many believed it to be a hate crime because there was no property stolen and…
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National Rural Health Day

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National Rural Health Day is today, November 15! National Rural Health Day was created in 2010 to support the ongoing efforts and collaborations occurring in more remote communities, as well as to address the unique challenges in accessing and delivering health care services in rural areas. Did you know that 19% of the US population lives in rural areas? That’s around 60 million people! And of that population, 64% of them live east of the Mississippi River [1]! Rural communities have unique healthcare needs. There is frequently a lack of providers, low levels of accessibility, and larger percentages of un- and under-insured citizens and populations that suffer from chronic conditions [2]. This is why rural outreach is such a vital part of the Caring Communities mission. Nearly 3.4 million people, or 27%…
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