‘Sexual health is important’: Nebraska health leaders urge community to remember World AIDS Day
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - While many doctors and medical experts are urging the public to get a COVID-19 vaccine, health advocates across the Omaha metro say don’t forget other aspects of your overall well being too.
Tommy Young-Dennis, the Outreach Coordinator for Nebraska AIDS Project is one of those advocates.
“I always said sexual health is part of your whole health. You can’t say you’re healthy if you’re neglecting that part,” Dennis stated.
Part of his passion is getting awareness about HIV/AIDS to the community but also ensuring everyone has access to testing.
Dennis said the NAP testing is free and safe but if a person still isn’t comfortable coming to their offices, they have staff available to come to your home or mail an at-home test.
“Knowing your status is crucial,” he added.
According to the organization’s website, one in eight people doesn’t know their HIV status and Dennis said that’s often because of the stigma associated with the viral disease. It’s not a death sentence he reminds the public.
Not only has medicine advanced greatly over the years but there is safe and effective medicine available for people living with HIV that reduces the viral load within the body so much so, that it is virtually undetectable and unlikely to be transmitted to a partner.
Dennis also stressed that in 2021 and beyond, HIV and any STD or STI is not a circumstance anyone has to deal with alone.
Their organization has therapy, education, support groups, outreach, and partners on hand to help families, couples, individuals and people of all diverse backgrounds navigate an HIV diagnosis, along with prevention.
“The test can be as quick as a minute. You could take it on your lunch break and get results within minutes,” said Dennis.
He says his staff wants the community safe and that’s why they exist, to support sexual health, education and safety.
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