Magic Johnson, a former NBA player, has shared his name and his foundation in promotion of the AIDS Outreach Clinic (AOC) in Fort Worth, Texas. The AOC will have staff and a resident physician that specialize in HIV/AIDS. Although testing for HIV and AIDS has changed drastically, research has shown that medical services are needed and a center that reaches out to the HIV/AIDS patients. The AOC will provide care no matter the ability to pay to assist with medications and health checkups.
The AIDS Outreach Center’s Mission statement is to serve men, women, and children that have acquired HIV. The AOC assists the families and caregivers of those taking care of a HIV positive patient or family member. The AOC shares resources and give assistance and counseling for families and caregivers as well as the patients. A big part of the outreach is to educate the community on safe sex practices and the prevention of HIV. The AOC began in 1986 and is a non-profit agency that opened several centers with the latest one in Fort Worth. The AOC has assisted the Fort Worth Counseling Center to provide support to the gay and lesbian community.
Fort Worth HIV/AIDS Issues
Tarrant County and Fort Worth ranks nationally with high rates of new HIV and AIDS cases. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and the AIDS Outreach Center (AOC) joined forces to improve not only education, but the healthcare provided to the sexually active among the gay and lesbian community.
Faces of HIV/AIDS
The faces of those acquiring HIV/AIDS have changed from one of just a gay issue. Many minorities and heterosexuals are acquiring this sexually transmitted disease. Younger women that have unprotected sexual relations are acquiring HIV/AIDS in greater numbers. As medical advancements continue, so does the push to educate the general population and the behaviors that puts one at risk to becoming infected with any sexually transmitted disease.
Symptoms of HIV
HIV infections start off with flu-like symptoms that begin four to six weeks after acquiring the virus. Fever, headaches, sore throat, joint pain and swollen lymph nodes are all signs of the primary HIV infection settling into the body. Then if treatment has not been started, the virus continues to spread and the disease progresses to more severe symptoms. When STD testing has not been done so treatment can be started, HIV will progress to AIDS. Although this STD is not curable, many medical advances have been made to support the damage to the immune system and make life healthier. New research has even give rise to hope that a cure can be part of the near future as science and medical care continue to improve and advance on sexually transmitted diseases.
Fort Worth, the AHF and AOC are working together to encourage STD testing in Forth Worth, Texas and the start of treatment as quickly as possible for best results. Education on healthier lifestyles, that enables those that have acquired HIV to have medication and education on the fact that HIV/AIDS is no longer a “death” sentence and how many live long happy lives with the disease. STD testing is the first step along with condom use to lower the chances of acquiring HIV/AIDS during sexual explorations no matter the sexual orientation.