Sunday, December 1 is World AIDS Day, which is seen by many medical professionals as a day to show support for patients living with HIV and remember those lives claimed by the disease.  It is also a day to educate the public.

Fadi Al Akhrass, MD, PMC Medical Director of Infectious Disease and Infection Control says HIV is a topic that needs to be discussed in eastern Kentucky.  “We need to take this opportunity to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS,” he explained.  “With advancements in technology and new medications, we are now able to suppress the infectious process of HIV, creating a much better outcome for patients.”

In eastern Kentucky, the recent spike in IV drug use has health professionals on high alert about the risk of IV drug users spreading both HIV and other diseases such as Hepatitis B.  In a recent study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified 220 counties across the country with the highest risk factors, and 54 of those are in Kentucky.

“I would like to encourage everyone, especially medical professionals in eastern Kentucky to screen patients believed to be high risk,” explained Dr. Fadi.  “This is how we can eradicate AIDS in our region.”

If you feel you could be at risk for HIV, call 606-218-2208 or request an appointment with Dr. Al Akhrass.