Tuesday, November 17, 2009

HIV: Yes, It Still Exists

It seems that the hype about HIV and AIDS has died down quite a bit over the last few years.
Dwayne Jenkins is the HIV Education

Coordinator at Nashville Cares. He came to Vol State and gave a fun, yet informative presentation on HIV prevention.

Jenkins showed a variety of contraceptives that are available in the safe sex kits, and discussed the proper way to clean needles. “We know that bleach kills the virus. This doesn’t mean that it is a cure, but it is used to sterilize test tubes and needles,” said Jenkins.

“The difference between HIV and AIDS is a test. If a person is infected with HIV, and their T-Cells drop to a certain level, that person will have developed AIDS,” said Jenkins. He said that the drug cocktails that are available now help to get the T-Cells back to a certain level. He talked about the fluids that serve as a vehicle to transmit HIV. These are blood, breast milk, and sexual fluid.

Aside from the scientific explanations, Jenkins made the presentation enjoyable, and all types of questions were welcomed.

Student Lita Miller said of the presentation, “I think it is fantastic. It was very frank.” “You don’t hear about it nearly as much,” Miller said about HIV. Yvette Burns said, “Since they have all of these programs, they have stopped talking about it. I think there should be more talk about it so that people don’t forget.”

There has been progress made in the way of medication and tests that are more available, but there is still no cure for HIV and AIDS. The presentations that Nashville Cares offer remind us of that fact. The Belcourt Theatre will be having a multimedia journey through HIV and AIDS on December 1, 2009. You can reach Dwayne Jenkins via email at djenkins@nashvillecares.org.

Volunteer State Community College

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