Blog Archive - December 2007
December 13, 2007
On December 13, 2006 http://www.nanobugs.com/ was launched. That was a big day for me - a milestone in the realization of my dream to effectively teach practical microbiology and infection prevention with the help of my precious nanobugs. Over the past 12 months, this website has seen continued growth in traffic - reaching every continent. Wow! What a blessing it is to have the worldwide web to communicate our mission so easily to the whole world! Through website comments and orders in the virtual store we have seen interest and enthusiasm for our mission and the nanobug characters from all of our target audiences. I am so grateful for this shared interest in my mission and I welcome your comments, testimonials, ideas, and suggestions for improvement. We continue to add new features and appreciate any ideas you might have for products that would meet your needs in this shared mission. I hope you will visit the site often. I want to recognize and thank our webdesigner, James Ehly, of Ehly Design, Pat McKeen, our humorist and song-writer and Snitily Carr of Lincoln, NE (our animation source) for their creativity in developing this award-winning website. Please share our website with your friends, relatives, your child's teachers and school nurse, your child care provider, your doctor, your church's parish nurse, and anyone else that touches your world.
December 1, 2007
Today is World AIDS Day. It might not be a big day on your social calendar if you don't have AIDS or HIV infection but I want to call your attention to this topic today. Many in the USA have sort of forgotten about AIDS and consider it to be a thing of the past. I can assure you that HIV/AIDS is still around in our country as well as every other place on the planet inhabited by people! CDC (the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA) reports that in 2007, Approximately 33.2 million people worldwide were living with HIV and 2 million died from AIDS. CDC is now recommending that everyone in the USA between the ages of 13 - 64 get routinely tested for HIV. It might seem a bit too much but serological studies have shown that 25% of the people living with HIV infection do not know they are infected - and therefore they probably do not protect their sexual partners. Identifying and treating the infected is the first step in controlling a global sexually transmitted infection like this. I just returned on Tuesday from Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. I met with a doctor and an epidemiologist there from the state health department who told me that they are currently focusing their attention and education on the teen age group and those 50 - 65 years. These groups have seen the greatest increase in cases. Here is a billboard I saw in Campo Grande (in Portuguese) that calls attention to World AIDS Day.
Education of the world's population is essential to putting an end to this ugly pandemic. It is going to take resources and continued work by individuals, private organizations and governments to accomplish this. Last week we sent 1400, HIV nanobug temporary tattoos to Liberia, West Africa and 20 nanobugs STI T-shirts to facilitate the education of children and adults about HIV infection and AIDS in after-school programs. (We are grateful to the North Omaha Kiwanis Club for paying for the shipping costs to make that possible). For World AIDS Day, CDC is releasing a critical new HIV testing and counseling tool, the Couples HIV Counseling and Testing (CHCT) Intervention and Training Curriculum. For more information, visit the CDC.gov Global AIDS feature. The nanobugs website also provides information on HIV. We also have created a nanobugs sexually-transmitted infection prevention program for teens to be used in schools to teach appropriate microbiology and the realities of infections like HIV in a unique way that we hope will be more engaging for teens and will also decrease some of the social pressure that they experience in the classroom when learning about a topic like this.
Whether you lead a large company, work as a health professional, or attend high school, please find a way to support the global efforts to prevent HIV infection.