World's AIDS day has again come and gone in Durham NC. Despite advances in antivirals AIDS takes approximately 9 lives in North Carolina everyday. Organizations focused on prevention offer free testing and free paperwork to those needing information on testing sites, info on where to get mental help, medication referrals and help with filing SSDI or SSI. SSDI and SSI are programs which can help disabled workers and other disadvantaged or underprivleged individuals. AIDS causes a mariad of issues such as diarrea, focusing and concentration problems and other health issues. It is especially difficult for those with the disease to access care if they are located in rural communities. Nevertheless according to US statistices 85 percent of all AIDS and HIV individuals reside in metropolitan areas. .Many HIV positives are neither gainfully employed or looking for work.
Dec 1st is a day we remember those who live with the disease and those who have fallen. Aids continues to claim many lives across the country and access to care is minimal in some states due to laws and lack of resources. In a state which has so many socio economic issues NC although the number 1 state in research and improvements in HIV treatment, it also has the highest number of folks on the ADAP waiting list. HIV is no longer considered a terminal illness and has been classified as chronic disease, much like lupus or other immune deficiency diseases. However the stigma attatched to these diseases can make one question of it is terminal or not. Quality of life remains an important factor versus quality and until people with HIV are accepted as people with an illness and not a walking disease, we will continue to have many more World AIDS days. AIDS awareness continues to be an issue for many here in North Caolina as well as accross the nation.