Baltimore County News
1.2 Million People in U.S. are HIV Infected – 14 Percent of Them Don't Know It
In observance of National HIV Testing Day, this Saturday, June 27, the Baltimore County Department of Health will offer free HIV testing at seven sites. Make HIV testing a part of your primary care routine by joining us at one of the sites on Saturday, June 27 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and bring a loved one with you.
Did you know that more than 1.2 million people in our country have HIV/AIDS? Fourteen percent of these men and women don’t even know they are infected. HIV does not discriminate and contrary to popular belief, HIV and sexually-transmitted-infection tests are not routinely included in an annual physical or gynecological exam. As a result, it’s critical to take control of your health, get tested and know your status.
Easy and Painless Testing
Taking an HIV test is easy and painless! Rapid HIV testing will be provided at the testing sites. This means samples can be collected by a mouth swab or a prick of the finger and the results are available in about 20 minutes. Knowing your HIV status empowers you to manage your health, while protecting yourself and others.
Not available on June 27? No problem. You can schedule a time and date that works for you. Contact the Baltimore County Department of Health at 410-887-2437. For more information on HIV visit http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/go/gettested.
Stacey Dyce, MHS, HIV Prevention Specialist and Educator
Derrick Moten, HIV Educator
Baltimore County Department of Health
Linda Grossman, M.D., Chief, Bureau of Clinical Services
Baltimore County Department of Health
As the lazy days of summer come to an end, many parents with school-age children are beginning their “back to school” preparations. If you’re among them, be sure to include your child’s pediatric check-up and/or annual immunizations on your list.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have a list of recommended vaccinations (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html) your child should receive— as well as when they should receive them. New this year in the State of Maryland is a law requiring specific vaccinations for children who are entering kindergarten and seventh grade for the 2014-2015 school year. The law requires that students entering kindergarten this fall must have two varicella vaccinations. Meanwhile, students who are entering seventh grade must have one Tdap (Tetanus-diphtheria-attenuated pertussis) and one meningococcal (MCV4) vaccination.
Immunization is a key part of protecting your child’s health. Millions of lives have been saved and untold cases of diseases have been prevented because of people getting vaccines to help them develop immunity to serious infections. Diseases that used to affect many people, such as polio, measles, pertussis (whooping cough), and meningitis, now are rare thanks to vaccines. It’s important to note that the germs that cause these illnesses continue to exist, so continued immunization is critical to the health of your child.
Additionally, immunization isn’t just good for your child’s health; it’s also good for those around him or her. When you immunize your child, you help protect the health of others including those who are too young to be vaccinated, those who are unable to be vaccinated due to medical reasons, and those for whom a vaccine may not be effective.
As you enjoy your final days of summer and begin your back-to-school shopping, please include your child’s health among your plans. Here’s wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and safe school year!
The Baltimore County Health Department will be offering free, recommended vaccinations for eligible children ages five through 18. Find a date and location: http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/health/healthservices/children/immunizations.html
Dr. Linda Grossman is a pediatrician in Baltimore, Maryland. She received her medical degree from University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and has been in practice for almost 40 years.