Thursday, June 21th, 2001
HIV Testing Day In Delaware, it is estimated that one out of every 185 people is infected with HIV
In the United States, almost 900,000 people are infected with HIV. According to the US Center for Disease Control, nearly one-third of those infected don't even know it. In Delaware, it is estimated that one out of every 185 people is infected with HIV. These alarming statistics are some of the reason why HIV/AIDS service providers from throughout Sussex and Kent County are taking part in National HIV Testing Day on Wednesday, June 27. On that day, and throughout the year, people are encouraged to "take the test and take control." This annual campaign also provides opportunities for additional outreach and community education. Testing and information will be available at sites in Rehoboth, Roxanna, Georgetown, Seaford, and Dover. In Central Sussex County, HIV testing will be offered at La Red Medical Center in Georgetown 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Twin Cedars Apartments in Roxanna. In Seaford, a community picnic and barbecue will be part of testing Day activities at the Chandler Heights Apartments. At all Sussex County sites, gifts will be given to everyone who gets tested and then returns approximately two weeks later for their test results. Details on the days and locations for results will be available at each site.

Domestic violence center coming to Seaford
Michael Kersteter, executive director of People's Place, announces that they are the recipients of financial support from Kraft Foods, Inc. People's Place will use the funds for its Families in Transition (FIT) program, which provides emergency shelter to victims of domestic violence in Kent and Sussex Counties. FIT has run a 17-bed facility in the Milford area for over 20 years, which has been very successful. And later this month, they will be opening another domestic violence shelter in the Seaford area. The facility will have 11 beds for battered women and their children. "Kraft has been a very strong supporter of People's Place, specifically our Families in Transition program, for the past 3 years," stated Mr. Kersteter. "They have been instrumental in getting our new shelter off the ground. "We look forward to working with them again in the future, they are a great community partner to have," he stated.

Arthritis pamphlet available
Many people still believe the myth that nothing can be done about arthritis. Call the Arthritis Foundation, Delaware Chapter to request your free brochure - Living Successfully With Arthritis - 31 Days Can Make A Difference. Some suggestions are simple actions others are the first steps toward lifelong change. For more information about arthritis or to request this free pamphlet call 1-800-292-9599 or write: Arthritis Foundation, Delaware Chapter, 100 W. 10th st., Suite 1105, Wilmington, DE 19801.

Chicken Pox Vaccine
Delaware's Division of Public Health (DPH) is encouraging parents to immunize their children against chicken pox (varicella) to protect them and prevent outbreaks. Chicken pox has been preventable since 1995, when the varicella vaccine was licensed. However, only 43 percent of children ages 19-35 months received the vaccine by 1998, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC), compared to 80-95 percent coverage for other routinely recommended vaccines. "Although chicken pox is usually a passing illness, it can lead to severe complications in some infants, adolescents and adults," said Steve Dettwyler, Ph.D., director of DPH's Immunization Program. "We are discouraging parents from thinking of chicken pox as a normal childhood illness, when the disease can so easily be prevented by the varicella vaccine." Symptoms of chicken pox include aches, fever, fatigue, irritability, sore throat and an itching, blistering rash. Complications may include secondary bacterial infections, dehydration, pneumonia, central nervous system problems, and death. Ninety percent of chicken pox cases occur in children younger than age 10, as well as 60 percent of hospitalizations and 40 percent of deaths. With many toddlers in preschool and child care settings, it is now common in children age 1-4. Adults are 25 times more likely to die from chicken pox and complications of chicken pox. Before the chicken pox vaccine became available in 1995, most people in the United States had suffered from the disease by adulthood. With the disease on the decline, it is important that adults who were not exposed as children be vaccinated. The CDC recommends one dose of the varicella vaccine for infants and children up to 12 years, and two doses for those age 13 and older who have not had chicken pox. For more information, contact DPH's Immunization Hotline at (800) 282-8672 or the CDC hotline at (800) 232-2522. Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware citizens by promoting health and well being, fostering self-sufficiency and protecting vulnerable populations.

Blood donors are needed
Blood drives will be held at the Seaford Elks Lodge, Seaford, on June 25 and June 26; and at Greenwood Volunteer Fire Co., Greenwood on July 3. Help save a life. To make an appointment, call 1-888-825-6638.