The Hadassah AIDS Center will conduct an in-service seminar on AIDS awareness and prevention for family doctors this coming Wednesday, October 2. The seminar, "HIV-A Virus Without Borders", is being organized as a result of the recent increase in AIDS cases among residents of East Jerusalem. Nearly half of the cases weren’t diagnosed until the advanced stages of the virus even though patients felt sick and were seen by doctors.
The AIDS Center at Hadassah was established in 1985 and the multidisciplinary team provides diagnosis, treatment and support for HIV/AIDS patients. Additionally, the center conducts various studies on HIV/AIDS. The center is currently treating around 400 HIV carriers: Jews, Arabs and Christians.
"This virus doesn’t only affect what would be considered 'classic' high-risk groups where physicians might be looking for symptoms,” said AIDS Center Director Dr. Hila Elinav. “Family physicians don’t think of HIV when examining the men, women and children from their regular practices, and they are missing the initial signs. There is less openness about homosexuality and drug use. That means that patients are diagnosed dangerously late, and arrive at the Center much later than they should and have a lower chance of overcoming the virus. Early detection of the disease, while it is still in the carrier stage can help slow the virus and prevent the development of AIDS."
The seminar will include lectures on diagnosis methods, early symptoms, treatment options, quality of life and life-expectancy. The seminar will take place at the Dan Hotel in Jerusalem.