Farmers are people too
Today is World AIDS day. So what does AIDS have to do with farming and farm safety? Well, farmers are people too. Knowing the facts about AIDS and HIV is important for prevention and treatment for the farmer, farm workers and farm families. According to the Vermont Department of Health,
As of December 2009, there were 405 Vermonters diagnosed and living with HIV. Of these, 247 had an AIDS diagnosis. An estimated 100 Vermonters are infected but don’t know it.
HIV is spread primarily through sex and needle sharing. A mother with HIV can pass the virus to her baby during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding. Early intervention and medical care can greatly reduce the risk, and women who are considering pregnancy, or who are pregnant, are encouraged to ask their healthcare provider about HIV testing.
HIV is the shortened name for the Human Inmmunodeficiency Virus.
AIDS is the shortened name for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, which you can get if you have HIV.
For a more detailed description of the two and for a link of resources the http://aids.gov/ site has a ton of easy to read and understand information.
I remember marching in an AIDS awareness event back in the 80’s and I remember Ryan White, the unlikely patient from Indiana who contracted the disease though contaminated blood transfusions. From him, we came to understand that anybody could get HIV and AIDS, not just the stereotypical. Prevention starts with a conversation. Today is a good day to have one about AIDS.