Capstone Health oversees the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program at Cobb & Douglas Public Health and is located in the Marietta Public Health Center.
The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program provides HIV-related services in the United States for those who do not have sufficient health care coverage or financial resources for coping with HIV disease. The program fills gaps in care not met by other payers and works with cities, states, and local community-based organization to provide HIV-related services to more than half a million people each year.
Ryan White is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB). Federal funds are awarded to agencies located around the country, which in turn deliver care to eligible individuals under funding categories called Parts.
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More About HIV
HIV is the Human Immunodeficiency Virus that can lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS.
HIV damages a person’s body by destroying specific blood cells, called CD4+ T cells, which are crucial to helping the body fight diseases.
Within a few weeks of being infected with HIV, some people develop flu-like symptoms that last for a week or two, but others have no symptoms at all. People living with HIV may appear and feel healthy for several years. However, even if they feel healthy, HIV is still affecting their bodies. All people with HIV should be seen on a regular basis by a health care provider experienced with treating HIV infection. Many people with HIV, including those who feel healthy, can benefit greatly from current medications used to treat HIV infection. These medications can limit or slow down the destruction of the immune system, improve the health of people living with HIV, and may reduce their ability to transmit HIV.
Untreated early HIV infection is also associated with many diseases including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, liver disease, and cancer. Support services are also available to many people with HIV. These services can help people cope with their diagnosis, reduce risk behavior, and find needed services.
AIDS is the late stage of HIV infection, when a person’s immune system is severely damaged and has difficulty fighting diseases and certain cancers. Before the development of certain medications, people with HIV could progress to AIDS in just a few years. Currently, people can live much longer – even decades – with HIV before they develop AIDS. This is because of “highly active” combinations of medications that were introduced in the mid 1990s.
No one should become complacent about HIV and AIDS. While current medications can dramatically improve the health of people living with HIV and slow progression from HIV infection to AIDS, existing treatments need to be taken daily for the rest of a person’s life, need to be carefully monitored, and come with costs and potential side effects. At this time, there is no cure for HIV infection. Despite major advances in diagnosing and treating HIV infection, in 2007, 35,962 cases of AIDS were diagnosed and 14,110 deaths among people living with HIV were reported in the United States.
For more information on HIV/AIDS, please visit one of the following websites:
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Cobb & Douglas Public Health hereby gives public notice that it is the policy of all departments to assure full compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1987 and related statutes and regulations in all programs and activities.