HIV/AIDS

Kerri

Tag your bag for the journey: Medical bag tags

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If you’re an avid traveler, you know the importance of keeping tags on your luggage. One trip, I could not for the life of me find a luggage tag in my house! Fortunately my suitcase made it successfully through both flights, but I can’t say I wasn’t just a tiny bit nervous because it seemed like I was tempting fate! But, how well do you identify your medical items as yours?
 

medical bag with red ID tag

Certain items, like blood glucose test kits, zip cases for medications, oxygen tanks or compressor bags and CPAP machines, wheelchairs or walkers, or nebulizer compressors are important, especially when travelling. Any bags that contain medical supplies should be readily identified so that if they are lost, the urgency to return them and their contents is known. Our red medical ID key chains also double as excellent bag tags. I have one attached to my nebulizer bag—if someone finds it somewhere and does not know what it is, they will at least know that it is medical equipment, and hopefully take it somewhere where they will find a way to contact me and return my supplies! 
 
Most of us are very careful with our medical equipment—but, especially in the hustle and bustle of travel, things happen. By outfitting your equipment or medication bag with a medical tag, such as our bright red ones, you can have the peace of mind that anybody who finds your bag can get it back to you. A tag can also help people identify where to find the medication that you might need if you cannot get to it yourself. Our tags come in both plastic and aluminum versions, as well as a red-emblem stainless steel version. While all of our products are light, I have the plastic red tag on my nebulizer bag—it’s low profile and stays out of my way, but is bright enough to see when needed. Since this small carry bag for my neb stays within my carry-on bag most of the time, I don’t test the tag’s durability too much; however, if you are really rough on your bag (like I am on my backpack!) you may prefer the aluminum version for your journeys.
 
And, unlike those those paper-insert plastic tags that sometimes only last one trip on your suitcase before the plastic cracks, these sturdy little tags will hold up to whatever you throw at them, just like the rest of our products. 
Kerri

November 21-28: HIV Testing Week Celebrates 5 Years

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There is a stigma associated with HIV that many organizations are trying to break. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus is treatable, and the best chances of successful long term treatment happen when HIV is detected when the body’s “viral load”, or presence of the virus, is low.
What is worse than being HIV positive? Well, I would think that being HIV positive and not knowing it is! In the case of HIV, the cliche is true—knowledge is power. Just as we now know HIV is not spread through casual contact with those who are infected, we also know that the sooner people who are HIV positive can begin treatment, the longer they can survive with HIV, as well as prevent transmission to others. Treatment is through with antiretroviral drugs—they do not “kill” the virus or “cure” the disease, but they do prevent growth of the virus within the body. [1]
The only way to be positive of your HIV status if you are sexually active, is to be tested for HIV. A simple blood test can be done to determine whether or not someone is HIV positive. And while the UK HIV Testing Week Campaign is aimed at Black African and the LGBTQ* (gay/bisexual MSM—men who have sex with men) communities, HIV testing is important for everyone who has ever been with a partner whose sexual history they are uncertain of.
HIV Prevention England and HIV Testing Week work to start the discussion about HIV testing, and promote more opportunities for HIV tests to be run, both in community clinics as well as in general medical care. Learn more about HIV Testing Week and HIV Prevention England this week, and take part in HIV testing if you want to be certain of your HIV status. The earlier you know, the better!
If you are HIV positive, wearing a medical ID bracelet can discretely alert medics to your status in case of an emergency.
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