Local Man Raises AIDS Awareness

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Timothy GistoverThe CDC estimates that 100 Americans are diagnosed with HIV or AIDS every day, despite awareness and education efforts centered on preventing the incurable disease. The sad part is that many people that have HIV have no idea, and infect someone else inadvertently.

The Meharry Center for AIDS Research in Nashville estimated that in 2004, more than 4,000 people in the mid-state were living with HIV or AIDS; nearly three times that number in all of Tennessee were infected.

The common belief is that gay men are most at risk, but that conception is rapidly changing. More and more minority heterosexuals are contracting the disease. In Davidson County alone, health officials report about 25-30 new cases of HIV every month. African-American, heterosexual women are contracting the virus at the fastest rate. Wednesday, AIDS activists joined forces to spread the word to get tested. One local man living with the virus has made that his mission too.

Timothy Gistover has been living with HIV for nearly 20 years. He’s one of thousands of Middle Tennesseans fighting off the virus with no known cure. He says the average day is very difficult and that often he can’t get out of bed.

Gistover says a lot of people are afraid to get tested because they think they’d rather not know. He says you can livea long time with the disease, if you know you have it and know how to take care of it.

Health officials and organizations all over the country encourage everyone to get tested for HIV, but for Timothy, it’s his life’s mission to spread the word. He says he chose to share his story so as many people as possible would be aware of the pandemic.

Approximately 25% of those infected with HIV don’t know they have the virus. Those who don’t know are more than twice as likely to engage in high-risk sexual behavior and pass the virus to others, compared to those who do know they’re infected.

A report out last month offered promising news to the more than one million Americans with AIDS and HIV. It said people infected typically will live 24 years after being diagnosed, due to the latest in medical advances.

source - WKRN 

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This page contains a single entry by ID Admin published on December 7, 2006 2:48 PM.

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