Will although we don't hear much about age these days it is a disease that continues to affect thousands here in New Orleans and throughout the state. Almost 20000 men and women are living with HIV aids in Louisiana living room because of major medical efforts. But the battle wages on Louisiana is third in the nation. And today we're gonna talk with people who were on the Frontline. Doctor Lisa -- Walton is with the L issue emergency medicine. -- Redmond director of prevention for the -- aids task force. And Burgess project impact I wanna hear all about that and know well. Twelve back is director of the knowing its task force I'm so worried about thankful -- advocate she gonna get the first thing -- you got a perfect thank you know well. -- -- -- You know what I as I was going overall -- information the other night writing this up I thought we have come so far. In 35 years I -- tremendously. I know we still battle lawn so I'd really like to start with some of the victories. What has been accomplished in 35 years people are living. Absolutely. You know we've we've come from a time point in time where people were becoming sick and they did know why they were sick they went to hospital and they didn't come home. We the are at a point in time where we're thinking of individuals that are living in coping with HIV as dealing with a chronic illness. And other we have some and incredible medications and therapies that. Can and help improve the quality of life life for an individual it is not a care. And there can be side effects with the medications but. The point is that we for for most people many people who. Access medical care. And access are able Texas medications. They came very -- get to a point where they have a viral load it's undetectable. Which has a lot of oh wonderful wonderful effects that. That makes them them. This -- hostility that they are less infectious. Less able to pass of ours -- another person. But also that's a good indicator -- there likelihood be able to thrive. With Dave with that chronic manageable disease. I guess I'm thinking it was before a death sentence and today people are looking living ten years twenty years longer. Normal lifespan essentially that that someone who takes care of themselves and manages it disease and keep challenging like any other chronic disease but they do that -- they can then. The guess -- that would make really can basically live a normal lifestyle and and live out their lives. And as no -- that's one of the huge successes for HIV and aids is that we do have affective treatment you know for a long time we didn't. And as wealthy well now we do not cure viruses and that's been one of the Rio challenge as we don't have the common cold they don't cure polio we vaccinated against it. Because HIV is a very sneaky virus attacks immune system and it mutates it at very high rate. It's it's been extremely challenging to get that vaccinations so. We do have the the medicines that make you better of some it's an incredible strides in prevention has no well mentioned. We now know that people who are on medication and who have reached -- suppression of the words they have taken medication as they should and it is keeping the virus so it is. Reaches a level that's considered undetectable because of current tests can't see it. That we know that that person is extremely unlikely to transmit the virus. And that's an important step in prevention so if we're looking -- for expansion in this country if we can get enough people into treatment that means getting them HIV tested. On the -- gave him into the care and means giving them -- -- you know taking the medications and staying with doctors and just doing what they need to do. And that person's probably not gonna transmit the virus we know that most of the infections that are still occurring this and the states and -- about. 4050000. Every single year come some people who do not know that there HIV infected and so that's one of the big prevention talent we have now so yeah we've made a lot of what a huge amount progress a huge amount of medical progress. A huge amount of behavioral health progress. And huge amount -- in no way we think about health care. Okay. Let us talk -- the good doctor that -- you have been involved in this how. So I'm the director of HIV testing at Ellis you New Orleans. And and I have had. The good fortune not getting grant funding to do testing and our state and linkage to care and certainly no -- is one of our partners for linking patients to care. And despite the fact that we've made tremendous tremendous. Progress as -- in the medical field. New Orleans unfortunately in the state of Louisiana lags behind and one of the major reasons that we land behind is that patients don't get tested. And as my colleagues have mentioned if a patient isn't tested if the person is contested and they don't know that they have HIV they cannot get into treatment. And so what we -- here in New Orleans and what we see in the state of Louisiana. That's 50% of the patients. Who are diagnosed. With HIV in this state. Half aides at the time of diagnosis -- progressed to aids within six months of the time of diagnosis. This means that people are getting tested late in the course of the -- disease. Because if you're tested early in the course of your deceased in your linked to treatment early in the course of your disease as was mentioned. Your viral load is going to be come on detectable your HIV is not gonna progress -- so HIV is just a state of having a positive. Virus in your body the virus exists in your body aids is being so right and so are patients unfortunately because they're not being tested early are progressing today what would be the symptom that might bring someone to be tested. The wire they not because they don't feel badly they aren't on there are no symptoms by the time the patient has. Symptoms. They have dates well that's not entirely correct some people do experience. An acute viral syndrome at the time that they contract the virus so they may have body aches -- fever a cult a -- off. A gray -- just the same symptoms that she might have for the common viral infection it disappears it goes away people sort of blow it -- saying. OK I just had a little viral infection. The CDC the Centers for Disease Control current recommendation is that every single citizen in the United States should be tested for HIV. At the time they percent to an emergency department or a primary care provider. Why speak ties they aren't symptoms and so every body needs to be tested every single person if you have ever. Ever had sexual relations in your life. You are at risk for having -- and we have diagnosed patients for example with in the past month. We've diagnosed. A woman who was in her early sixties who had been married for forty something years. 21 man never had sex with anybody else she was HIV positive. She was diagnosed because we test everybody in our emergency department her husband was bright man was positive. We diagnosis seventeen year old who had sex with one person and his entire life he was positive. So. You can't set a profile that certain people are at risk in other people are not every one should be test. I think that's the bottom line one in six understand. Don't know they haven't exactly stay with -- everyone we're gonna continue an important conversation. And you departed the many questions to 60187. Day I'm -- on -- WL. We are talking about HIV aids we are joined by doctor Lisa Marino Walton who was with the Alicia emergency medicine. Jeanne Redmond director of prevention for the knowing task force -- while back. Director of the -- -- task force an -- Burgess with project impact. And what we're talking about yes it's come a long way in 35 years some traumatic and tremendous medical innovations that are allowing people to live as you said. A lifetime. But you have to catch it you have to catch wallets in the HIV stage yes and it is a full blown. And because of symptoms. It's it's all about testing. Let's I'm just -- interest in some of the numbers Louisiana is third in the nation Baton Rouge interestingly number one New Orleans number four. Why why is it. Yeah and those case rates just explain really quickly that's number of people per 100000 who are infected. So even a New Orleans is smaller than say New York or Los Angeles our case is -- to the number of people out of 1000. He put the people that have HIV out of that particular group we're gonna have a higher number than practically any other city in America. And what is it what does it. They're multiple factors you know like like I think like any disease poverty hasn't affected. You know diseases go where poverty is like you know what people are struggling with multiple different challenges where it's anything from. Where I -- to how to put food on my table are homeless arms struggling with substance abuse or mental health problems and I can't get treatment. And that really affects disease rates because HIV is it's its behavior that can affect them and sometimes it's not your behavior at someone else's. Behavior so either and the problem too is once you get a higher rate of infection. The likelihood that you gonna run into somebody who is infected is greater -- to be doing exactly the same things at. People in Salt Lake City you're doing but if you land somebody's HIV infected that's they get HIV in fact. -- okay. There were some pretty startling numbers I think one of the things that attempt was surprising was the number of African Americans. With 32% of African Americans in our state they're 75%. Of the cases yes that is eye opening. And it has that been all along or is that a more in the last five years ten years. So that's basically been all along and -- -- it's a tremendous disparity not just in in New Orleans not just in Louisiana. -- in the United States. So basically in the United States. Approximately. Thirteen to 14%. Of the US population is African American and 53%. Of the new cases identified. In 2013 -- African Americans so we seen disparities. In health care through out. I believe that a tremendous amount that has to do with education and so while -- when you look at the statistics in the state of Louisiana. The case rate among caucasians has slowly but steadily decreased in this case rate among African Americans. Has slowly and steadily increased. And I think that part of that is the education process so education has to be culturally competent. Fact have to be delivered in the way in which people can hear them by individuals. Who. The patient population is willing to listen to -- and we are trying now to make it changed and that we are trying to make education. More culturally competent so that people can he year. The facts that they need to hear and then. Improve their chances of staying HIV negative or. I'm not transmitting the disease either the other surprise was the number of very young people. In our state 25%. Are twelve years old to 24. That list -- little. We we also -- another piece of other than think looking at things like. Poverty there's a lot of co factors that we believe that can impact the prevalence of HIV are. -- originates case traits in -- community if you look across United States the south. Is the that's the southern part of the United States has more new infections and any other part of the United States. It is up 50% of the new infections every right and and it's it can be very rural as well as the urban populations. But but you you also look at the south there -- a lot of -- things that. Parallel we have -- health outcomes across the southern United States particularly here in Louisiana we have poor health outcomes. We don't have the access to health care that many other communities and any other states in the northeast and West Coast -- So we believe a lot of these things attribute to the high number of people with a high percentage of our our our community. That are HIV infected. So we need to look at a lot of different factors if we're really gonna make a dent in in the HIV and aids case rates. As well as other STD's and health outcomes. And yesterday that the group what is the percentage of being sexually transmitted to 90% of it verses. Bullet train him not eighty Iverson outnumber him virtually none in blood transfusion OK today it's it's basically transmitted through sexual. Focus on sexual and CDC makes don't know groups want us. The call Emerson Norman who have sex with men to encompass not just the gay community the people who. -- be at a defied they also -- a high risk heterosexuals to heterosexuals and they have sex with 11 person. Arm injection drug users and an innocence with injection drug users and those of the categories that they look at. So probably about fourteen to 15%. 30% 35%. Our -- heterosexuals and the rest of fall into the -- and category. You were commenting. Doctor about. That the woman sixty year old woman in her sixties who was diagnosed who had only been with her husband and -- her husband was positive. And he made an interesting comment ending via commercial break that in Louisiana. Vs some other states. Won. -- one in discretion -- we'd like -- -- violent so we're all human nobody's behavior is perfect and so. We knew we do note that these things happen on a -- somebody will have a single incidence of infidelity in a long long marriage. If you live in a place where the case rate -- or the prevalence of HIV is very tomorrow. So just in to it so that this is easier to understand. If for example you have a group of ten individuals and only one and had. Has HIV. And you have sex with someone in that group -- and 90% chance that your gonna be safe. But if you live in a community where are. Three or four of those individuals out of ten has HIV and you're gonna have sex with one person and that group if a much much higher chance. That having sex once is going to expose -- HIV. And so in New Orleans. Which which as you pointed out has that fourth highest incidence in the nation city lies Baton Rouge the first highest incidence in the nation. Our case rate in the nation citywide. So if you have one. Infidelity one marital indiscretions. In your whole life. -- city with a high prevalence or high K street to have a much. Better chance. Of getting HIV or you could say worst chance at a much higher chance of contracting H I think. And I guess there was such a flurry. -- may be in the ninety's in the two thousands where we were getting that education and the sabres. Reaching people people were understanding oh my gosh this gonna happen. Haven't heard so much of it now and I was look at that -- because were were getting better but may -- not. Well a lot of the earlier campaigns for around awareness to HIV yeah -- -- most people know about HIV aids and know it's a virus. They know the virus can cost might get sick and eventually in that person might have an aids diagnosis. But the messages are -- risk reduction are still very prevalent today that do they say they still apply they're very method availability. Mechanisms we can use to reduce the risk of transmission person is -- -- and sexual activity. If a person's going to share in Hedo and clean needles I mean -- -- their number things that we know. Our behavior modification that we know that if we can get people to engage and it will greatly reduce the risk of transmission. So those messages are are still out there but earlier campaigns -- more on awareness. I guess that the challenge is that many of these activities around behavior modifications. Can be very costly. And difficult to deliver it's more than just the awareness. But it's really getting people to change behavior. And understanding. What level of -- particular behavior might be putting them in your. A final a lot of things. Just for anyone that's listening that wants to kind of get an idea of what we're talking about of where in the United States HIV is. And there is an online resource called aids you dot board. And have a map of the entire United States that's color coded by counties are course in our case parishes. And you can actually click on different you concede a -- map or you can zoom -- on gesture area and this year accounting and surrounding counties or -- And see what the prevalence the case rate is for your actual area. And it's color coded from basically whites too dark rent. And if you look at the map be conceived basically from Texas. All through the southeast all the way up to New York. -- New England is you know dark orange and grant and dark red. There's this sort of lights places in the middle areas that some places. Basically every major city is going to have the darker coloration. And then sort of the West Coast as well. But it's something you can kind of get an idea and look at and understand some of what I mean you know these stimulus bill that's going to talking about now that -- our. No visual -- And an HS eight to pick up any kind of prevention think about what you had to do to get on a diet to go to exercised. To do things that rule will change how you live your life. And it's always a bit challenging to do those things it takes often times multiple steps and what we often call failure. But said it's we look at it as a learning curve and think to both HIV on you know you can you can get. Heart disease if you eat bad diet but 11 big Mac isn't gonna do that or HIV you know 11 slip with a condom condom breaks. You fall in love with the wrong person and I think that's one of the real challenges because HIV is kind of butting heads. Against things that we care about intimacy trust love being able to touch another person Aniston was saying. Well are you sure you can trust that person you might need to have this this piece of latex you might even have a conversation about things that are really uncomfortable. And I -- particularly now in the old days it was you saw people that were literally dying then there were very blunt images of people with the you know the kaposi's sarcoma NASCAR's. You know with the Golan facial. And the loss of fat colossus you know aging. Prematurely and and that was. A brutal but effective prevention message now days it's like that and show people that are climbing mountains and living on HIV medications. And that's a much more complicated and much more nuanced that message. And qwest refused to think about OK cameramen you know back when we were young and -- shortstop almost some of us may have done things that we look back mount up. What was I thinking yes on you know and again it's it's the young people they have you can't take away the keys to his car to the genitals are attached a so it's how we work with you know people who think and sensible. Who think that anything is gonna happen to them is gonna have five years. As HIV an -- to get infected but it takes five to ten years for defects immune system. And if you're sixteen or nineteen that's forever. -- so becomes a very complicated sort of thing to work with people. Stay with the second one going to the newsroom will be right back we're talking about aids HIV HIV aids. Tragically this state is still very high in numbers. But what we also had some good things and that is. People who were doing a lot of testing we have the no aids task force and its tremendous outreach in trying to educate people and that is the bottom line. We -- once again joined by doctor Lisa Marino Walton. -- Redmond and Burgess and know well it will back. Part of the knowing its task force and part of L issue let's talk about I want to talk to you because I found this so interesting. In the courthouse. New Orleans courthouse you can be tested it in Orleans freshmen to support right. We are not in the criminal court. And we're not active inside the courtroom set traffic court that since it's in the same building if you finish with you business. You can also. Utilize our services if you want so what does it entail. Essentially that we are there every day that the court is open we operate in the morning from. 8 o'clock when the doors open till about 1130 to twelve. Then we kind of shut down for a couple of hours and -- enemy of America protesting in the afternoon for the afternoon court session from about 230. Until 5 o'clock and lock the doors and people were it were driving saying why the court. Well it's it's actually part of the Gailey -- focus -- -- of projects. Which is in a bunch of different cities around the country. It's essentially providing com and new innovative ways to provide testing for people or increased testing that's -- existing. I'm not mistaken LSU also is a focus partner -- -- and so for the courthouse. One of the ideas that came to them is we actually have a lot of traffic that goes through our court house. Unfortunately. So. And particularly municipal court can see upwards of 20000 people a year just coming through some things very routine some things. A more serious -- It provides a place where you have to go and sits. For several hours sometimes before you actually get your moment in court so to speak. So this provides an opportunity for. For us to go -- and it's. You know saddle up to people the the judge icicle is -- Is -- slide in there and we're very you know our staff are very. Nondescript we look like anybody else that would be -- there's no singling out of Michael they're talking to the those you know HIV people but you know we'll settle at some -- okay. If you our -- project impact of fuel one have an extra five minutes come get HIV test. We can handle it and be back in court. We worked with the judges in the different courtrooms to make sure that anyone that leaves the courtroom to come get a test with us. And no way shape reform gets their names skipped org it's helping and countered it's an attachment. Two courses a major concern for people. As a it would be for me too but -- that doesn't happen with if there with us then there golden as far as that's concerned and it's a blood test it is it's a finger -- so we've broken finger and we have sometimes. You know people that are freaked out by that. But for the most part they've been very responsive because it's superfast tests the bold option was a mouse club which takes twenty minutes and it's. Sometimes you don't have twenty minutes. Name gets called annually so that's why we went to to the finger stick which is sixty seconds. And can they get results then yes they get. Sixty seconds after a broken in the finger their -- finished and they have their results okay. If they are positive we do have a secondary test that there that we give them that can take as much as ten minutes but even still they're not spending an hour. And then we can help link them up with any treatment options or referrals that are needed. If for someone that's positive -- if you negative here in and out and about five to ten minutes depending on if you have questions or not. And some people do some people have lingering questions and we also provide some preventative materials. Button condoms and that sort of thing to two people that might want them. And our biggest item that we've been giving away at the moment is I've got tested stickers. Rich. -- which people seemed you know slap on the chest and walk out very proudly. So 20% of people we've tested over the last year and a half. Have which we've tested almost 2000 people now in 20% of those people -- never had an HIV test before. So the first -- is getting pulled out of a courtroom and bomb can and testament itself. It was the availability it was the ease it was let me go ahead and contestant yes. One of the first projects was again in the DMV and Washington DC. So our program has kind of ideas sort of sprang out of that sort of things like if you can't get people to come to a clinic. Where can you put testing available to Wear a bunch of people are kind of right held captive under an umbrella and better at you have. Except -- inside that ticket into the let me go back to the doctor if I could. FL issue it's a little more involved it is -- right now. So their benefits and drawbacks to the way we tests were also part of securely -- focused project then. -- has funded the testing program announce new so we do what's called a fourth generation -- it's also a blood based test. The drawbacks to a test as it takes 29 and it's. The benefit to our test is that it can detect HIV. With and one to three days of the time that you actually contract the disease. Every other tasks to besides this particular test you have to be positive for twelve weeks. And the reason is that your body needs a chance to build up antibodies we actually detect the germ and virus itself. So once the virus has been introduced into the body we can identify with this test so the test takes a little bit longer. But it's test if you test positive with this test. We do confirmatory test immediately as well in our emergency department. So you leave the emergency department knowing definitively. That you do not have or have HIV. If you get a negative test. With any of the other tests he cannot be sure that you're nag -- You can only be sure that you haven't had HIV for the past twelve weeks he need to be tested a second time. In in three months and during that time -- need to have had no sexual contact whatsoever. If you want to rely on these tests being accurate. So for our test you you will now. Within one to three days of having contracted the disease and if -- any emergency department it's a similar situation. The court why not you're hanging out anyway so doesn't that stay with -- everyone will be right back. Gains and we are now joined by now I hope I can get this right sir Glenn. Is that correct. Thank you it is again an a plus. And he is at Walgreens senior director and in by Al and saying that wrong a catchy name right I got that as a anyway the bottom line is Walgreens is doing a wonderful thing in the city. For the next three days and -- kind of tell us about it. Sure what that has partnered with the Kaiser Family Foundation and the greater than a campaign to bring awareness around HIV testing. Across the country and in about 280 stores in about a 150 cities Walgreens is providing free HIV testing at our stores. Limited stores. Throughout the country. In partnership with local aid organizations and health departments. In you can find the location specifically in your area by going to greater than dot org slash walker. You make it sound very simple but you have friends here because. Some of our guest here in the studio have met you. Task force hey how -- you Erica thank you for your support for making this happen here in -- we appreciate it thank you for your partnership. And -- this Justine Redmond knowing too we also met in that hotel lobby at Atlanta and I want to thank you for your ongoing partnership we've worked with that waits for several years now. And particularly the effort around on national TV testing day when we're doing some extended. Testing here at the local Walgreens. And not in as one of the things that really matters in how we fight this disease is having. Accessible ways that people can get tested as many times they just -- You know take a half a -- off to get to the doctor part hard but -- in the Walgreens you know picking up there. Give him prescriptions or doing stuff and it's in -- -- take 1015 minutes to get HIV test makes so much more accessible. And it's freeing. It is free yes yes see there's no excuse now. There's no excuse whatsoever if in the courthouse if you're Walgreens if you're at L issue you can be tested. And and the messages every but he -- according to our good doctor here. Glenn I think you also an -- for the people New Orleans because we do have a problem here and I think that the numbers show that and it it is about education is about. Taking a leap in getting that test. Yeah and we -- is actually has a lot of and -- and other our organizations do a lot protesting besides the LSU was a great place to get tests at the courthouse. But we should also be testing at different locations Monday through Saturday. Sometimes -- evening hours we have Saturday afternoon hours so we actually testing even some of the bars in the French Quarter and other places like that to make his ex hustles possible -- -- there's really no excuse. Obviously Walgreens. It's committed to this. We we certainly are we involved in the epidemics since the beginning. We've been in the neighborhoods -- highly impacted by HIV even before the first drugs were released in the late eighties. In throughout the entire course of the epidemic we've been there is we have. I've been there the whole time it will be there and into the future but I just wanna remind everybody beyond that testing days. Pharmacists are great resources for health information and learning how about how to stay negative and if somebody is positive we also have. Programs and and and services that we can offer to help people live very high quality of life. Thank you very very much for joining us Allan thank all of you for joining us. We've heard a lot and and there is some good news that we don't wanna forget that. But it is about responsibility. And it is about getting tested. And it's available and that's the beauty of this thank you very very much. We will continue on -- -- wanna say that on July 17. Dining out for life. Lots of restaurants over a hundred restaurants 25% of your check -- to knowing its task force. Good luck to you thank you very very much thank you again thank you we'll be right back. One more reminder that today tomorrow and Saturday free aids testing. At various Walgreens if you go to Walgreens chemical are you one of them is testing three. It's freaking and also at essence fest. Yes that essence fest there will be free testing sponsored by the office of public house. For anybody who comes to the festival a -- keys is going to be part of that she is part of the Kaiser Family Foundation greater than aids campaign. And she's going to be interviewing me and some. And an HIV positive woman and the mother of an HIV positive gay male. At the essence festival so we look forward to seeing you there you'll meet at least two keys and we'll meet you again thanks again everybody stay with this.