Encouraging the GLBT Community to Take Control of Their Health®!

We all know everyone is amazing in his or her own way; we’re all one of a kind. But what happens when we get caught up in the day-to-day and forget to pay attention to our health? Surprises happen and not always the good kind especially when there are increased risk factors for various health concerns.

Health risks affect everyone. For example, it has been statistically proven that African-Americans are at higher risk of Heart Disease and Latinos are a higher risk of developing Diabetes. In the GLBT Community, the risks and concerns aren’t as easily determined. Each individual has their own experiences and factors that determine their particular health risks. These factors may include race, age, geographical location, socioeconomic status, and lifestyle amongst others.

Understanding what health concerns you are at risk for can help you take the right steps towards leading a healthier lifestyle to reduce those risks. So how do you start? Lab testing can help you identify your current health condition.  At that point the key is really in PREVENTION. You can develop a plan to get healthy and ensure that you are staying that way. This includes getting tested for STD’s. According to the CDC, the GLBT community accounted for nearly half of the 1.1 million people currently living with HIV in the country and 61% of those reporting new infections each year as well as 63% of the syphilis and gonorrhea cases in the country.

When you combine factors such as the statistics and society’s pressure, it can be scary. There are concerns based on your particular risk factors, the concerns of not becoming part of a statistic and last but not least, the fear of being judged.  You need to find out more about your health in an environment that supports you and cares about your well-being.

ANY LAB TEST NOW® helps you Take Control of Your Health® with discreet, confidential and anonymous STD screens as well as a variety of Wellness testing that will get you on your way to a healthier, worry-free lifestyle. What better time to start Taking Control of Your Health® than during STD Awareness Month? Come in this month and get tested! Remember that Symptom Free Doesn’t Mean Disease Free. For more information on our confidential, anonymous STD screens and available Wellness testing visit your local ANY LAB TEST NOW®.

Getting in the Spirit of National Collegiate Health and Wellness Week

Going to college is a great experience. It is the time when you finally get to study the subjects you are really interested in and when you begin to work towards your future career. You are the one and only responsible for what comes next for Y-O-U, including meeting deadlines, paying bills on time and of course taking care of your health.  Welcome to adulthood!

Now let’s talk about the process to get into college. Yes grades, tests scores and a comprehensive entry essay are a given; but the other side of this process believe it or not comes down to your health. Are your immunizations up to date? Have you been tested for venereal diseases? Some institutions may also require you to take a drug test. All these elements combined and perhaps an interview will determine whether you get in or not.

Next… Congratulations you got accepted! Now the grind begins, you are on a roll and burning the midnight oil has become part of your daily routine. You figured “why not I’m young I’ll catch up on Z’s once I graduate!” Ask yourself do these activities affect my overall health and wellness? The answer to that question is YES! Let’s be honest that midnight oil being burned is not just due to studying and once you graduate the time to catch up on Z’s decreases. It has been reported that some of the main health concerns on campuses across the country include lack of sleep, infectious diseases, alcohol abuse and lack of exercise.

The time to Take Control of Your Health® is now! You might ask yourself, but “how do I do that?” Perhaps doing the good old buddy system could work.  ANY LAB TEST NOW® can be that buddy you need to help you stay on top of things and make sure you’re healthy. We have the tests that you don’t have to study for including titer testing, STD testing and overall wellness checkups. Plus, we have B-12 shots that can help you boost that energy after those all-nighters.  Get in the spirit of National Collegiate Health and Wellness Week, increase your awareness about the importance of staying healthy, fit and get educated on how to do it.  Visit www.anylabtestnow.com to find additional information on how to Take Control of Your Health® and visit a location near you.

World AIDS Day: A Day to Raise Awareness & Join the Fight!

What does AIDS stand for? These days this question may seem a little ridiculous to ask, because since the 1980’s awareness for STD’s especially HIV, all over the world has continued to grow. Nevertheless many still confuse AIDS with every existent STD out there. In simple terms AIDS stands for Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome. This is the final stage of the HIV infection; by the time HIV patients reach this state their immune systems are badly damaged; which in turn puts them at risk of acquiring opportunistic infections (OI’s).

According to CDC reports more that one million people in the U.S. are currently living with HIV. The global statistics are even larger and continue to grow at warp speed. We know this disease is no joking matter and it’s in all of us to make sure we raise awareness even if it’s just to change one life. That is where getting tested can play a starring role in the movie of your life.

Getting tested is something that everyone should do at least once in their lives. Unfortunately there is a stigma that surrounds this subject and as hard as it is to believe these illnesses are more common than we care to admit. Why get tested? Because being symptom free doesn’t mean disease free and worrying is worst than knowing. It is also never too late to play it safe and it is important to protect the ones you love from this disease while raising awareness that AIDS exists and it can’t be ignored.

This December 1st let’s join the fight and take the pledge to raise awareness during World AIDS Day. Organizations like AIDS.gov can provide you more information on taking the pledge to ‘Working Together for an AIDS-Free Generation’. ANY LAB TEST NOW® can be the friend without judgment and confidant you need during this process. To find out more about our comprehensive STD panel and tests visit www.anylabtestnow.com.

CDC Urging Baby Boomers to Get Tested for Hepatitis C

It is said that time and life experiences make us wiser. But what happens when what we call life experiences put our health at risk? For those born between 1945 and 1965 wisdom might not be all they have acquired. It has been reported that baby boomers make up 75% of the hepatitis C cases in the United States. This age group is distinctly vulnerable due to the fact that during their youth the medical and lifestyle precautions that emerged during the HIV outbreak in the 1980s were unknown. Some may have become infected as a result of blood transfusions prior to the universal precautions and widespread blood screenings, which commenced in 1992 or through experimentation with drug use by sharing needles.

According to the CDC 1 in 30 baby boomers has been infected, and most have no clue. This virus can go undetected without symptoms for decades slowly destroying the liver, while causing few symptoms. This characteristic has earned the hepatitis C virus a silent killer status. The CDC recommends that baby boomers get tested for hepatitis C, which in turn will potentially prevent the consequences of the disease. The importance of getting tested is that if detected early hepatitis C can be treated and lives can be saved.

If you are an individual born between 1945 – 1965, have you followed the CDC’s recommendation regarding Hepatitis C testing?  If not, what is keeping you from doing so?  We may be able to help.

Baby boomers can get tested discreetly for Hepatitis C at any of ANY LAB TEST NOW®’s locations nationwide.  To find a location near you visit www.anylabtestnow.com.

HIV: Are You Doing Your Part?

Are you one of the millions of Americans who believe that HIV is no longer a problem in the United States?  It’s just a problem for people in South Africa where HIV and AIDs have been news for over a decade, right?  Unfortunately, you couldn’t be more wrong.  HIV and AIDs are still such a large problem that President Obama commissioned a National HIV/AIDs Strategy a year ago this month.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 1,178,350 people in the United States are living with an HIV infection, 20% of whose infection has not been diagnosed.  Annually, over 38,000 people receive new diagnoses and 17,409 people die from HIV related causes.  Since the first recogniztion of the HIV infection and AIDs in 1981, then identified as Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and Kaposi’s sarcoma, the number of infections skyrocketed through 1995.  In 1995, the number of new infections and deaths due to HIV began to decline and then leveled off to the current numbers in 1999.  The disease has not gone away and we are not as aware of the infection and its risks as we need to be to make headway in preventing it.

The CDC is holding a National HIV Prevention Conference in August, 2011 to address the three main goals outlined in the National HIV/AIDs Strategy:

  • To reduce the number of people who become infected with HIV,
  • To increase access to care and to improve health outcomes for people living with HIV, and
  • To reduce HIV-related health disparities.

One of the major methods of reducing the number of new infections is a simple HIV test, such as the one readily available at all ANY LAB TEST NOW® locations.  Identifying who has the infection and is therefore a risk to others has been shown to reduce the chances that the infected person will spread the disease.

Unlike those with HIV in the 1980s, a diagnosis of HIV infection is no longer a death sentence.  Monumental progress has been made in the treatment of the infection and AIDs.  The key is not only early identification, but early treatment.  The sooner a person knows that they are infected, the sooner they can receive antiretroviral treatment that will reduce the chances of spreading it to sexual partners by as much as 92%.  The same highly active antiretroviral therapy suppresses viral replication for decades allowing patients to enjoy longer, healthier lives.  This medical treatment, combined with the use of condoms, notification of infection to sexual partners, and new advances in topical microbicides has the capability to make significant progress towards reducing the number of new infections.

To make this happen, Americans need to be aware of their risks and take the right precautions.  If you are sexually active you NEED to be tested for HIV.  You may save not only your life, but the lives of your sexual partners.  There are no guarantees when it comes to sexual activity; even monogamous partners have been known to make mistakes and to stray.  Be responsible; get tested quickly and easily at your local ANY LAB TEST NOW® location!