Tag Archives: STD

DHEC in the News: Flu, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, mumps and shingles vaccines

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

DHEC: Don’t Let Cost Keep You From Getting A Flu Shot

Columbia, SC (WLTX) — State Health Officials say do not let cost prevent you from getting a flu shot.

Many health care providers, pharmacies and community organizations offer low or no cost flu shots, according to DHEC.

Health officials says this flu season is serious and because of that, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will waive administrative fees some pay for a flu shot at its public health clinics.

DHEC offering free HIV/STD testing

(WSPA) — Free testing for HIV and STDs will be offered in recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

Health officials say tests will be available at S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) clinics and local HIV testing sites.

Horry County schools see high number of flu-related absences

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) — After widespread flu activity across South Carolina, Horry County School officials said they’re seeing more flu-related absences than normal this flu season.

Horry County Schools spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said there has been a spike in students sick with the flu over the last two weeks. South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control believes the flu outbreak has just reached its peak.

Mumps, shingles vaccines get new guidance

Vaccine advisers have published their latest recommendations for mumps and shingles vaccines in adults.

New adult vaccination recommendations published Monday feature a booster shot for mumps in case of outbreaks and the new and improved shingles vaccine.

DHEC in the News: World Aids Day and ‘Ending Epidemics’, free health screenings for women, hurricane season

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

S.C. focuses on ‘Ending Epidemics’

During the early years of the epidemic in the 1980s, AIDS was a death sentence. Across the globe, the disease has claimed an estimated 36 million people in the years since. …

Friday marks World AIDS Day, an international public health campaign promoting awareness of HIV and AIDS prevention and research. …

Toward a unified approach in battling HIV/AIDS and related issues, South Carolina government agencies, private-sector organizations, the faith community, public health professionals and others are coming together for a World AIDS Day event at 6 p.m. Thursday on the north steps of the Statehouse in Columbia.

During the event, officials will unveil a new statewide campaign – “Ending the Epidemics” – that will highlight the need for integrated prevention and care approaches designed to end the HIV/AIDS, STD, Hepatitis C and opioid epidemics.

Tri-County Health Network offers free health screenings to women

The Tri-County Health Network and the Regional Medical Center will offer free WiseWOMAN™ health screenings and lifestyle education to 160 women ages 40 – 64 years old from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10, at RMC Urgent Care, Santee, 111 John Lawson Ave.

The WiseWOMAN™ (Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for WOMen Across the Nation) health screening aims to help low-income women reduce their risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The screening will include bloodwork, and all patients will be referred for follow-up care with a RMC Primary Care provider.

General Interest
South Carolina could face worse after horrific hurricane season

HANAHAN — Carlos Borrego stresses every time he hears a gust. The drumming of a generator gives him a headache.

Little more than a month ago, he was at his in-laws’ home in the Puerto Rico mountains near San Juan when the 150 mph winds of Hurricane Maria tore the town to splinters. The destruction — to the homes, the trees, the roads, the bridges — was so massive he couldn’t leave for days.

He finally joined his wife, Niurka, and daughter, Adriana, two weeks ago in their new Hanahan home. Told that Hurricane Hugo made landfall here in 1989 with winds nearly as strong, he is startled. Borrego was a child when that storm also lashed Puerto Rico.

“Hugo? Here?” he says in disbelief.

DHEC encourages HIV testing in recognition of World AIDS Day 2017

World AIDS Day is December 1, and DHEC is encouraging South Carolinians to get tested, know their status and, for those living with HIV, to stay on treatment to keep the virus suppressed.

‘Ending the Epidemics’ in SC

This year, in conjunction with World AIDS Day, DHEC is also promoting the goal of “Ending the Epidemics” in South Carolina. This new initiative focuses on reducing the number of new HIV, STD and Hepatitis C infections by linking individuals to providers, increasing viral suppression for those living with HIV/AIDS, and promoting prevention.

“South Carolina ranked tenth in the country and the District of Columbia in the case rate for HIV diagnoses in 2015,” said Ali Mansaray, Director of DHEC’s STD, HIV, and Viral Hepatitis Division. “This year, we hope to raise awareness and encourage people to get tested, and to help those who are living with HIV to start and continue care. Life-saving HIV treatment is available to reduce HIV in the body to very low levels so that those living with HIV stay healthy and are less likely to infect others.”

In 2015, nearly 700 adults and adolescents were newly diagnosed with HIV in South Carolina. As of December 31, 2016, there are an estimated 18,998 South Carolina residents living with diagnosed HIV infection, including AIDS.

“Early detection through testing remains essential to successfully identifying and treating the disease, and helping to end the epidemic,” says Mansaray.

Persons living with HIV need continuous care

Another vital component to ending the HIV epidemic is ensuring that all persons living with HIV are in a continuous system of medical care and treatment. DHEC estimates that almost 6,000 persons living with HIV are not currently receiving medical treatment. To address this situation, DHEC has implemented a new public health strategy, Data to Care, which offers those living with HIV assistance and support to bring them back into care and help them to stay in treatment.

“Medical treatment is so effective that persons living with HIV can effectively control the production of HIV,” said Dr. Bambi Gaddist, Executive Director of the Joseph H. Neal Wellness Center. “The CDC recently announced that people who take their HIV medications as prescribed and achieve and maintain undetectable viral loads have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner.” Dr. Gaddist is referring to the notice updating HIV Treatment and Viral Suppression released by the CDC in September.

Testing is available

Throughout the year, DHEC clinics provide HIV testing at a small cost depending on the client’s ability to pay. On November 29, in recognition of World AIDS Day, free HIV and STD testing will be offered at DHEC clinics. In Charleston, free testing will be offered on December 1.

To find a clinic near you, visit www.scdhec.gov/health/publichealthclinics.

For more information about HIV testing, as well as local HIV testing sites, call DHEC’s AIDS/STD Hotline at 1-800-322-AIDS (1-800-322-2437), or visit DHEC’s website at www.scdhec.gov/HIV.