Call To Action: Young People can "Be
a Force for Change"
World AIDS Day 98 -Submitted
by Sara Jordan, Community Health Specialist, Utah Department of Health
Last year, an estimated 5.8 million people
worldwide were newly infected with HIV. Nearly half of all new infections occurred in
young people between the ages of 15-24. In fact, according to United Nations AIDS office,
five people, between the ages of 10-24, are infected with HIV each minute. This results in
7,000 new youth infections every day and 2.6 million infections each year. In the U.S.,
AIDS related illnesses are the sixth leading cause of death for young people. By 1997,
13,000 young adults were reported with HIV, most through sexual contact. Yet, in our
society, many adults are still reluctant to talk openly with young people about sex. Thus
far, in 1998, 28 Utahns between the ages of 13-29 have been reported with HIV disease.
Many, many more young people are impacted by the disease through their relationships with
the nearly 2,400 Utahns living with the disease.
Clearly not every young person is at risk for HIV/AIDS, but many are.
Youth who may be include:
Young men who have sex with
Roughly three out of four HIV infections nationwide occur
in young MSM. In addition to often having to deal with homophobia, young MSM of color
sometimes have the burden of ethnic/cultural traditions which inhibit family/community
AIDS-related illnesses are the third leading cause of death
for women between the ages of 25-44. Women who developed AIDS by the age of 30 were
probably infected with HIV during their teenage years or in their early twenties.
African-American and Latino women over the age of 13 comprised 80% of reported AIDS cases
among women last year.
Young people who live on the street often exchange sex for
shelter, security or food, and are thus at increased risk for HIV infection. Some young
people who are addicted to drugs suffer from an increased risk of becoming infected with
HIV by exchanging sex for drugs. Alcohol and drug use as part of sexual activity is not
uncommon among young people seeking validation and intimacy.
Although there have been increasing numbers of HIV prevention programs
targeted to youth, many programs fail to address the issues which put youth most at risk
including injection and other drug use and unsafe sex practices. It is vital that young
people learn how to protect themselves from all sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Infection with one STD increases the risk of a second infection and STD rates within some
populations are alarmingly high. Among African-American teenagers in the U.S., for
example, gonorrhea rates are four times higher than the average rate. In Utah, 70% of
reportable STDs are among youth. Factors that contribute to infection of all types of STDs
include unstable relationships/serial monogamy/multiple partners; anatomical
susceptibility (especially of young women); the sense of invulnerability many young people
have; inadequate access to health care/use of services with particular concerns about
parental involvement or lack of money.
In addition, community norms which discourage discussion of sex in
general can inhibit frank discussions of safer sex practices and related issues. Studies
from around the country indicate that many young people do not understand the risks of
anal sex and many who are engaging it, are not protecting themselves against infection.
For some youth, this information can make the difference between life and death.
Prevention programs and communities must also address the social
context of HIV risk. This requires addressing issues related to family systems, violence
and abuse, self-esteem and personal/social responsibility, communication, etc. While
dealing with these issues may not be easy, we must if we want to create a world where the
HIV risks to our young people are decreased. To do so requires the commitment of all of
us, regardless of gender, age, HIV status, profession, sexual orientation, religion, etc.
On December 1, 1998, Utah, along with the rest of the world,
will observe the eleventh annual World AIDS Day. The theme this year is "Be A
Force for Change." This organized effort is designed to encourage public support
for programs that prevent the spread of HIV infection and to provide education and
awareness of issues surrounding HIV/AIDS.
World AIDS Day 98 kicks off a year long campaign to raise
awareness about youth and HIV/AIDS. This Fall, organizations throughout the state have
been working with youth to design and implement HIV prevention activities. The theme,
"Be a Force for Change," challenges young people around the world to recognize
the crucial role they play in the ever-changing course of the AIDS pandemic. The theme is
intended to be a call to action for young people and adults.
Young people can get involved in reducing their risk and the spread of
HIV/AIDS by educating their peers and by developing responsible, healthy habits. Adults
can support youth in their efforts to do so. Adults can also support youth by developing
policies which protect the rights of young people to be informed and educated about the
risk of HIV/AIDS, by establishing programs which provide access to needed medical and
social services and by ensuring that young people are protected from discrimination or
exploitation resulting from their lifestyle choices. Every adult in the state has an
opportunity this next year to show their commitment to keeping Utah kids safe and healthy,
physically and emotionally, by becoming educated about HIV disease and by working to
ameliorate the social conditions which contribute to the risk of infection.
The kick-off event will be the annual candlelight vigil. It will
be held on Tuesday, December 1st at 5:30, at Rowland-Hall St. Marks High School in Salt
Lake City. The purpose of the vigil is to remember those who have died from complications
related to HIV/AIDS, to come together in support of those living with the disease, which
includes increasing numbers of Utah youth and to recognize the millions of young adults
worldwide who are affected - directly and indirectly - by HIV/AIDS. The entire candlelight
vigil program will be youth focused. Youth, their teachers, families and friends are
strongly encouraged to attend. COME SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR UTAH YOUTH!
Updates are Posted Weekly on the Utah Infectious Diseases Listserver!
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(and please include a relevant subject line).
Personnel from the Utah Department of
Health as well as members of several local health departments were invited to join with
army reservists to attend an interactive satellite broadcast titled "The Medical
Response to Biological Warfare and Terrorism." The broadcast was a three day training
seminar developed and presented by the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious
Diseases (USAMRIID). Topics covered by the broadcast included the epidemiology, detection,
diagnosis, and treatment of a variety of microbial agents and toxins that might be used by
terrorists to conduct biological terrorism. In addition, participants learned about
military and civilian resources available to assist in developing effective intervention
In 1969 President Nixon stopped all offensive biological weapon
research in the United States. Since 1969, USAMRIID has been conducting defensive
biological warfare research. The US along with other countries signed a treaty prohibiting
the development, production and stockpiling of biological weapons in 1972. However, there
are some countries and terrorist organizations that continue to support or actively
participate in the development and production of biological weapons agents. Biological
terrorism has occurred in the United States. In 1984, a religious group put salmonella
into salad bars of restaurants in The Dalles, Oregon area to influence a local election.
More than 750 persons became ill in that incident. More recently, several hoax incidents
involving anthrax and other agents have occurred.
Today, the most significant agents that might be used by terrorists
include anthrax, brucellosis, pneumonic plague, tularemia, smallpox, viral
encephalidities, viral hemorrhagic fevers, and toxins such as the botulinum toxins, ricin,
and staphylococcal enterotoxin B. The most likely method of deploying these agents is
through aerial dispersion, although direct contamination of food or water may also be
Except for pneumonic plague and smallpox, infections with organisms are
not transmissible by casual person-to- person contact. Only those persons who were
directly exposed to the contaminated air, water or food would become infected. The
lethality of these agents range from almost no mortality to very high numbers. Diagnosis
can be difficult because of the non-differentiating signs and symptoms or due to the fact
that few clinicians have seen cases of these agents. Disease resulting from biological
terrorism may be difficult to distinguish from a naturally occurring infectious disease
outbreak. Good epidemiology is important in identifying these events. Maintaining
effective disease surveillance is an essential first step in preparedness and is important
in effective law enforcement activities.
During recent years, the federal government has established policies
that promote increased awareness and preparedness of public health agencies in the defense
against biological terrorism. These policies include the enhancement of public health
capabilities, more regulation in culture collection procedures, and extension of
educational and training opportunities such as the broadcast by USAMRIID.
the Food That You Prepare in Your Home Safe?
Holiday Turkey Tips
When thawing a frozen turkey, keep it
refrigerated on a tray, under cold running water, or in the microwave if it is cooked
immediately afterwards. Never thaw by letting it sit out on the kitchen counter.
Stuffing should be placed in the turkey just before
cooking. Pack it loosely. Remove the stuffing as soon as the turkey is cooked.
Turkeys should reach an internal temperature of 185ºF.
Take the temperature in the thickest part of the meat on the thigh away from the bone.
Stuffing should reach 165ºF.
Refrigerate or freeze all leftovers within 2 hours of
removal from the oven. This prevents bacterial growth which may cause illness. Foods
should be stored in small or shallow containers to allow them to cool quickly. Cover
containers when cooled.
Stuffing and gravy will keep in the refrigerator for 1 or 2
days. Gravy should be brought to a rolling boil before serving. Turkey should be used in 3
or 4 days, unless frozen.
For more information about preparing your holiday meals
safely, call the USDAs Meat and Poultry Hotline, at 1-800-535-4555.
General Safe Food Handling Tips
Keep food out of the "danger zone"
(between 45ºF and 149ºF). This minimizes bacterial growth that could cause foodborne
Thaw frozen food in a manner that inhibits bacterial
growth: 1) in the refrigerator on a tray to catch drainage 2) under cold running and
continuously draining water 3) in the microwave, only if the food is cooked immediately
after, or 4) as part of the continuous cooking process.
Cook all meats and reheat leftovers to the following
temperatures: poultry (165ºF). ground beef (155ºF), rare roast beef (130ºF), pork
(150ºF), others (165ºF).
Rapidly cool all potentially hazardous foods (including
cooked rice and baked potatoes) from 140ºF to 45ºF in less than 4 hours in the
refrigerator. Cool large quantities of food in shallow 4" pans in the refrigerator.
Wash platters, utensils, cutting boards and other food
preparation equipment in between use for cooked and raw foods or different types of foods.
Wash hands with soap and warm water before preparing,
serving or eating food.
Do not prepare foods if there are cuts or open sores on
Never mix household cleaners without following the
manufacturers instructions. Do not mix household bleach and dishwashing detergent.
It creates harmful fumes and vapors. Keep cleaners and medications away from food storage
areas. Do not spray cleaners or pesticides in food area.
Utah Department of Health,
Bureau of Epidemiology
Monthly Morbidity Summary - October
1998 - Provisional Data
The Epidemiology Newsletter is published
monthly by the Utah Department of Health, Division of Epidemiology and Laboratory
Services, Bureau of Epidemiology, to disseminate epidemiologic information to the health
care professional and the general public.
Send comments to:
The Bureau of Epidemiology
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-2104
or call (801) 538-6191
Approval 8000008: Appropriation 3705
Rod Betit, Executive Director Utah Department of Health
Charles Brokopp, Dr.P.H. Division of Epidemiology and Laboratory Services
Craig R Nichols, MPA, Editor, State Epidemiologist, Director Bureau of Epidemiology
Cristie Chesler, BA Managing Editor