2015-12-18 / Health & Medical

December is ...

AIDS Awareness Month

Knowledge important in the fight against HIV/AIDS

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 25 million people have died from HIV/ AIDS since the onset of the epidemic roughly 30 years ago. By 2008, more than 33 million people across the globe were living with HIV/ AIDS, including more than two million children under age 15. Though great strides have been made with regards to diagnosing and treating HIV/AIDS, many feel there is still a significant way to go before this deadly disease can be defeated once and for all. One of best assets in the fight against HIV/AIDS is understanding the disease, which can lead to more effective prevention and a greater appreciation of what those battling the disease are facing every day.

What is HIV?

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is a virus that infects cells of the immune system, destroying or impairing their function. Once a person is infected, the virus works to progressively deteriorate the body’s immune system, making it difficult for the body to fight infection and disease. The infections that result are known as “opportunistic infections,” as they take advantage of an infected person’s weakened immune system.

What is AIDS?

AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is used to describe the most advanced stages of HIV infection. When a person has AIDS, he or she is fighting any of more than 20 opportunistic infections or HIV-related cancers.

How is HIV transmitted?

The WHO notes that HIV can be transmitted in a number of ways. At the onset of the epidemic, HIV was thought to be transmitted only through sexual intercourse. While HIV can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, including oral sex, there are a number of additional ways the disease can be transmitted, including: * transfusion of contaminated blood * sharing of contaminated needles, syringes or other sharp instruments * between a mother and her infant during pregnancy * childbirth * breastfeeding

Who is most at risk of getting HIV?

Though no one is immune to HIV, there are some people who are at greater risk of HIV than others. These people include:

* injection drug users who share needles

* infants born to mothers with HIV who did not receive HIV therapy during the pregnancy

* sexually active people who engage in unprotected sex, especially with partners who have additional highrisk behaviors, are HIVpositive or have AIDS

* people who received blood transfusions or clotting products between 1977 and 1985, before screening for the HIV virus became standard practice

How long does it take before AIDS develops?

Once infected with HIV, those infected often want to know how quickly AIDS will develop. That varies depending on the individual. If untreated, those infected with HIV will develop symptoms of HIVrelated illness within 5 to 10 years. But the time between an HIV infection and an AIDS diagnosis can be more than a decade.

Are there symptoms of HIV?

There are symptoms of HIV, but many people do not develop any symptoms upon being infected. However, within several days or weeks of exposure to HIV, some people do experience a flu-like illness characterized by fever, headache, fatigue and enlarged lymph glands in the neck.

Upon infection, symptoms might not appear or be very slow to develop, a period that can last as long as a decade. Though no symptoms appear, the virus will continue to actively multiply and infect and kill cells of the immune system. The virus can gradually kill CD4++ or T4 cells, which are the immune system’s primary infection fighters.

Once the immune system has been weakened, then the following symptoms might develop:

* lack of energy

* weight loss

* frequent fevers and sweats

* persistent or frequent yeast infections

* persistent skin rashes or flaky skin

* short-term memory loss

* mouth, genital or anal sores resulting from herpes infections If AIDS has developed, the affected might begin to experience cough and shortness of breath, seizures and lack of coordination, difficulty swallowing, forgetfulness, fever, vision loss, weight loss, and extreme fatigue.

More information about HIV/AIDS is available at www.who.int.

Think you need a hearing aid?

If you need or think you might need a hearing aid, you should call Mark Vail today — he’ll test and evaluate you for the hearing aid you need in the comfort of your home and you’ll be happy with it.

By visiting people in their homes, Mark can make the best assessment of what the person’s needs are. Sometimes, he visits people at their places of work because of concerns there. This attention to detail shows up in the low return rate he has.

You can reach Mark Vail at 284-9600 or toll free at 877-284-3400. Call today and you’ll be hearing better soon.

Health Affiliates Maine - Holiday Stress

For many, the hustle and bustle of the holidays can bring heightened feelings of stress, angst, fatigue and negative emotions. Health Affiliates Maine wants you to know that you are not alone. If you find yourself being overwhelmed in preparation for the holidays, keep in mind a few simple tips.

1. Set limits for yourself. It is okay to say "no" if you are feeling overwhelmed.

2. Take time to think about what is most meaningful in your life and incorporate it in your daily routine.

3. Seek support. Go to a place where you can find encouragement.

Finally, make clear decisions ahead of time about how you want to handle this busy time of year. A little advance planning can go a long way.

Based in Auburn, Health Affiliates Maine is a statewide substance abuse and mental health agency providing therapy, case management and psychiatric assessment and treatment services. To learn more visit: www.HealthAffiliatesMaine.com

Perplexed, bewildered, dazed, or confused about health insurance?

Karen Vachon, licensed health insurance agent, helps individuals, families, small business owners, and senior citizens navigate their health insurance options. From Obamacare to Medicare, she gets up close and personal to the individual needs of her clients needs and situation, she helps people tap into available resources to best protect life’s twists, turns, and surprises.

“The health insurance purchase has changed a lot in the last few years and people are really confused”, explains Karen, who helps people determine their eligibility for tax credits, choose and enroll in a plan that best meets their needs and budget.

Open enrollment for 2016 ends January 31st – for those who would like to change their plans or enroll for the first time. Special enrollment outside of the annual enrollment period are available for those who have lost employer or state provided coverage, moved in our out of an area, or had a life change.

Tired of 1-800 eternal hold? Feeling perplexed, bewildered, dazed, or confused? Call Karen! 207-730-2664. There is no fee for her service.

MassageCraft - Share The Health!

Treat a loved one to pain relief that can actually improve his or her health. Reduce pain, sleep better, and increase body awareness through massage, acupuncture, yoga, and Polarity. Strengthen the body’s own healing mechanisms naturally. The skilled staff at MassageCraft has over 75 years combined experience in eastern and western massage techniques, acupuncture, yoga, and Polarity.

Not sure whether you need acupuncture or massage? Choose acupuncture for pain complicated by digestive distress, menstrual issues, allergies, insomnia, anxiety or depression. Too sore for a back massage? Acupuncture can alleviate back pain with a few needles placed in the hands.

Trying to cram 48 hours in to a 24 hour day in spite of your pain? A deep tissue massage will work out the stiffness, soreness and knots. All of our therapists are trained in gua sha and cupping, vigorous soft tissue techniques borrowed from Chinese medicine. Both are extremely effective working out stubborn old injuries and revitalizing damaged tissues.

Feeling overwhelmed by the holidays? Try Polarity with Mary Feeley to balance your energy and restore your sense of inner peace.

Now thru December 24, buy a discounted series of 4, 1 hr. sessions and get your choice of one MassageCraft healing salve for FREE!

MassageCraft & Acupuncture Clinic was established in 1991, with convenient locations in Biddeford and Old Orchard Beach. We accept workers compensation and some private insurance upon benefit verification. We offer corporate discounts to UNE, SMHC, and MBH. Call 286-8416 or 934-0849 for an appointment. OPEN SUNDAYS. Please visit us at our web site: www.massagecraft.com.

How can I keep myself and my family healthy?

Coastal Wellness offers many treatment options that allow you to determine the best way to improve and maintain good health throughout the year. Dr. Kaylee Cooper utilizes safe and e!ective chiropractic adjustments to remove nervous system interference, reduce pain, improve motion and achieve optimal function, as well as whole food nutrition protocols to help your body heal from the inside out. Dr. Beth Stockwell provides holistic primary care providing individualized treatments for a variety of acute and chronic illnesses including digestion issues, Lyme disease, anxiety, insomnia,

high cholesterol, allergies, fatigue and autoimmune issues. Sue Dancil, LMT focuses her practice on maximizing movement and reducing pain by increasing circulation through manual techniques, neuromuscular re-education (A.D.A.P.T.), low level laser technology, pulsed electromagnetic "eld device, and cellular regeneration. Ursula Schmidt, LAc e!ectively treats pain, allergies, asthma, stress, gynecological and fertility issues and digestive disorders with acupuncture, a unique form of healthcare that views the physical, emotional and mental condition of a person as interdependent.

Providing home care for you and your loved ones

At New England Family Healthcare, we strive to provide the best in-home services for you or your loved ones at affordable rates. Since 2001, we’ve been helping people with personal care (bathing/dressing), light housekeeping, grocery shopping, meal preparation, companionship and the like. If you or a family member have had surgery, are going through a course of treatment, or can no longer do some of the everyday household chores you’ve always done, call us at 699-4663 for a free consultation.

HOME SNUGGERS ANSWERS ALL OF YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT “ RETROFOAM INSULATION” !

1) How much does it cost to insulate my house?

Depends on how much you want done, and how much we can save you with Efficiency Maine rebates. The average is about $4,500.

2) How long does it take?

Usually no more than a day or two, and it’s usually applied from outside.

3) How much will I save on my heat bill?

That varies between different homes. We find 30% - 40% is common.

4) What is the benefit of RetroFoam insulation?

The real benefit to your comfort is the air sealing, which reduces drafts and cold penetration from outside. Plus, it will keep rooms cooler in the summer too.

5) Are there other benefits, too?

Yes, the RetroFoam is odor free, class 1 fire retardant, and keeps mice and other pests from invading your home, and sound dampening.

6) How can I be assured it’s well sealed?

First, our technicians are highly trained; we check everything with a thermal imaging camera, and the post testing by the Efficiency Maine Certified Energy Auditor gives you and us another level of quality control.

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