Diplomat joins advocates, patients, caregivers, and physicians every December to lend our voice to HIV and AIDS awareness month. This is an opportunity to educate friends and family members about HIV and AIDS, encourage safe behaviors and regular testing, and work together.
What is HIV?
HIV stands for “human immunodeficiency virus.” HIV, which is only able to infect humans, attacks the cells of the human immune system (T-cells or CD4 cells). After getting inside the cells of the immune system, HIV uses the machinery inside those cells to make copies of itself, and then destroys those cells. This results in a weakened immune system.
What is AIDS?
When the human immune system is weak, it is less capable of fighting off infection. If an HIV infection is left untreated, the patient may develop acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). A patient is considered to have AIDS once the amount of CD4 cells in the body falls below 200 cells/mm3.
Patients with HIV can also be diagnosed with AIDS once they develop an “opportunistic infection”. Opportunistic infections are caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites that do not usually cause infections in otherwise healthy patients. These bacteria, viruses, and parasites take advantage of the patients’ weakened immune system and can cause very serious, even life-threatening, illnesses.
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Every year, on December 1, patients, caregivers, physicians, and advocates who have been affected by HIV/AIDS come together to commemorate World AIDS Day.
This year’s theme is “Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-Free Generation.” A united front can help educate others about HIV and how its spread as well as help to reduce transmission of the virus. There are many ways to get involved not only today but throughout the year.
One key way to share the responsibility of moving towards an AIDS-free generation is committing to regular HIV testing. You can find the nearest HIV testing site by visiting the HIV Testing Sites & Care Services Locator online. The CDC also has a National HIV and STD Testing Resources database that can come in handy. HIV testing is recommended annually; learn more about why to get an HIV test here.
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At Diplomat, we pride ourselves on the quality of our staff and believe that successful, knowledgeable employees can make an important difference in patients’ lives. We’re always on the look out for candidates with diverse backgrounds, majors, and experiences. One of our current openings, our Postgraduate Year One (PGY1) Pharmacy Residency Program, is a great opportunity for a candidate looking to develop in the industry of specialty pharmacy.
The PGY1 Pharmacy Residency Program is a 52-week program that is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). The program is located in Flint, Michigan, at our headquarters, and emphasizes the development of advanced clinical skills within a specialty pharmacy setting. Residents will also gain experience within ambulatory care and community settings.
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Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is abnormally high pressure in the lungs that is caused by changes in the arteries that carry blood to the lungs. PAH is a rare disease, affecting approximately two people per million in the United States.1 It is most commonly diagnosed in people between 20 and 40 years of age and is more common in women than in men. While there is no cure for the disease, early treatment can help improve survival and quality of life. If left untreated, it can often lead to heart failure and death.
What are some symptoms and risk factors?
Signs and symptoms of PAH include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Dizziness and fainting
- Fatigue (low energy)
- Swelling of body parts (legs, ankles, or abdomen)
- Hard, rapid, or irregular heartbeats
Risk factors may include:
- Family history of disease
- Female gender
- HIV infection
- Liver and thyroid disease
- Congenital heart disease
- History of drug use (prescription amphetamines or illegal drugs such as cocaine)
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