Health department brings awareness of HIV and AIDS - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Health department brings awareness of HIV and AIDS

WICHITA FALLS, TX -

December 1 is World AIDS Day. Health departments across the country are fighting the battle to control HIV and AIDS, including the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District.

Friday, officials spent the afternoon giving free screenings and talking about the importance of getting tested. Representatives from the health district see about 8 HIV cases a year, which if not properly treated can turn into AIDS.

However, there are ways to prevent the spreading of the virus. One way is getting tested. Program Director Jason Wheat said this way, if a person does get HIV, they can catch it early and get it under control.

"Just because you have HIV it means the same thing as if you got diabetes," said Wheat.  You're going to have to stay on top of it and going to get treated for it. It actually reverses the damage that HIV has done and builds your immune system back."

Wheat said the treatment for HIV has changed a lot over the years. There are now medications a person with HIV can take to make sure the virus does not spread to others.

The Beverly Drive United Methodist Church hosted an observation of the day with guest speaker Dr. Ahmed Mattar, a Wichita Falls physician who has served many areas including the HIV and AIDS clinic.

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