"In the U.S., there is about 1.1 million people that are living with HIV and about 15 % of those individuals do not know they are infected."

Over 35,000 people in Atlanta lives with HIV. This is scary to me and unsafe for everyone dating in the Atlanta area. As a nurse, it is importance to highlight and teach about HIV prevention and ways to get tested. Working in the center of downtown Atlanta and in one of the major hospitals around, we, as nurses, see patients with HIV/ AIDS on the regular basis. Getting tested is important and should be a social topic among young millennials!!!

*Oral, vaginal or anal sex with someone who is HIV positive.

*Sharing needles or syringes used for illegal drug use.

*Mothers with HIV to child through pregnancy, childbirth, and or breastfeeding.

*Exposure through needle stick with a HIV contaminated need or sharps (seen in nurses and healthcare workers).

*Receiving blood transfusing and organ transplant from a HIV positive donor.

*Eating foods prechewed by a caregiver with HIV.

*Being bitten by or coming into contact with some with HIV with open skin, wounds, mucous membranes (mouth), and deep open mouth kissing with open sores.

PREP: PREP, known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a HIV prevention tool that is used for HIV negative individuals. It is instructed that one pill is taken a day for 7 days to reach optimal levels of prevention. This medication can be prescribed by your primary care physician, and the individual must have proof of being HIV negative. To lower the risk of exposure, this is more than 90% effective for prevention through sex and more than 70% effective in use with illegal injection drug use. Presence of the medication in bloodstream can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading in the blood.

PEP: PEP, known as post- exposure prophylaxis, is a HIV prevention tool that is also used for HIV negative individuals. It is instructed to be taken within 72 hours after being exposed to the HIV infection. The effectiveness decreases the longer the treatment is delayed. DID YOU KNOW?: Healthcare workers exposed to HIV is covered by worker's compensation for PEP. Sexual assault victims are prescribed PEP after the assault and may be eligible for partial or full coverage of costs of PEP and clinical costs.

If you are living in Atlanta, have you heard of AID Atlanta?!

AID Atlanta currently offers HIV/AIDS prevention and care services, including (but not limited to) Primary Care, HIV/STD Screening, PrEP, Community HIV Prevention Programs, Linkage Services, Case Management, and a state-wide Information Hotline.  The mission of AID Atlanta is to reduce new HIV infections and improve the quality of life of its members and the community by breaking barriers and building community.

OnMonday - Friday, the center offers free Rapid HIV and STI testing daily. Rapid tests detect antibodies to HIV Type 1 and 2 in human whole blood, fingerstick, and plasma. Testing is also for STI, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and syphilis.

CONTACT NUMBER (800)551- 2728.

Other places to get tested:

Primary Care Doctor's Offices

Community Health Clinics

Health Department

Local Planned Parenthood Centers

Health Fairs

I hope reading this, you have learned something new. As a Registered Nurse, it is my duty to education on disorders for improving quality of life. Please share and get the word out!!!!!!!! Thank you!

XO Nurse Bria