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Back to December!

The end of the year is approaching quickly! We celebrated our Open House on Friday, December 1, and it was such a blessing. We are so grateful to those of you who attended in support. This adventure has been challenging to say the least, but has also been the most rewarding. We know that with your support we will continue to grow and be able to provide the best care to our community. If you haven't, please spread the word for us on social media and through Google reviews. Word of mouth also goes a long way!

December 1 is also World AIDS Awareness Day.

Talking freely and openly about HIV/AIDS helps end the stigma by bringing knowledge and awareness. Getting tested to know your HIV status can help you make decisions to stay healthy. As with most disease processes, the earlier treatment is initiated, the better the outcome. Due to the advances in research and treatment, most people with HIV can expect to live as long as those without HIV. It is especially important to follow a healthy nutritional pattern consisting of mostly fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and limited in red and processed meats, refined sugars, and processed foods. Regular cardiovascular exercise, as well as strength and flexibility training also help the immune system prevent and fight secondary infections. Thanks to medical advancements, HIV testing and treatment is now more accessible than ever!

Compliance with an antiretroviral therapy (ART) medication regimen reduces the amount of HIV in your body down to an "undetectable" viral load, allowing you to stay healthy and live your best life. It also prevents you from sexually transmitting HIV to your HIV-negative partner. There is not currently a cure, but with early detection and consistent treatment, most people can get the virus under control within six months. HIV treatment does NOT prevent the transmission of any other sexually transmitted diseases, so regularly screening for all STIs is important.

PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a safe and effective HIV prevention option that was approved by the FDA in 2012. PrEP comes in pill or injectable form, reducing your risks of contracting HIV from sex or injection drug use. When taken as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV. When taken correctly, it reduces the risk of getting HIV from sexual intercourse by about 99%. It is NOT effective at preventing any other STIs. While studies are limited, we do know that PrEP pills are about 74% effective at reducing HIV in people who inject IV drugs; injectable forms of PrEP are not rcurrently recommended in this population.

At Options Wellness, we make every effort to educate our patients openly and treat every patient with dignity. HIV affects all individuals regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or age. Regular condom use can reduce the risk of contracting HIV by up to 90%, so this is still recommended for safer sex. Help us bring awareness to end the stigma by spreading the word to educate others. If you are unsure about your HIV status, get tested. You can call our office to schedule an appointment: 256-866-3441, or book an appointment online at



https://www.options-wellness.com/book-an-appointment. We wish for you to stay healthy this holiday season!


For more information on HIV/AIDS, visit https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/library/


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