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Apr 25
Del 22 al 29 de abril de 2017, celebramos la Semana Nacional de Inmunización Infantil

¿Están vacunados sus hijos?

¿Sabía usted que la pertussis, también conocida como la tosferina, es muy contagiosa y puede ser grave para los bebés? Las personas con tosferina suelen propagar la enfermedad tosiendo o estornudando mientras están en contacto cercano con otros, quienes luego respiran el germen. Muchos bebés que sufren de tosferina son infectados por padres, hermanos mayores u otros cuidadores que tal vez ni siquiera saben que tienen la enfermedad. Cuando los bebés se enferman con la tosferina, los síntomas pueden ser muy graves. Los bebés pueden contraer neumonía (infección pulmonar) y muchos tienen dificultad para respirar. Aproximadamente, la mitad de los bebés menores de 1 año de edad que se enferman con la tosferina terminan en el hospital, e incluso, algunos mueren de la enfermedad. 

¡Las vacunas salvan vidas!

¡Las vacunas pueden proteger a los niños de 14 enfermedades graves antes de que cumplan los 2 años! A veces es fácil pensar que estas enfermedades son del pasado. Pero la verdad es que estas enfermedades siguen existiendo. Los niños en los Estados Unidos pueden, y siguen, contrayendo algunas de estas enfermedades.  

También puede proporcionar protección adicional a sus hijos, asegurándose que las personas que los rodeen estén al día con sus vacunas. Cuando los miembros de la familia y los cuidadores de niños son vacunados, no sólo protegen su propia salud de las enfermedades prevenibles por vacunación, sino que también están ayudando a limitar la exposición de los niños a estas enfermedades. Esto es especialmente importante en los primeros meses de vida de los niños cuando no se han vacunado completamente.

Hable con su proveedor médico para asegurarse que usted y sus hijos estén al día con sus vacunas.

Para más información sobre las vacunas, visite Los Mitos y los Hechos sobre la Vacunación


Apr 24
STI Awareness Month: Get treated!

If you test positive for an STI, get treated!

Most sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be cured with the right medicine. Bacterial infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis can be cured with antibiotics. Remember to take the medicine as directed and never share your medication with others. If it is safe to do so, talk to your sex partner(s) about getting tested for STIs. If your sex partner is infected, it is important to treat them at the same time to prevent re-infection. Having an STI and getting it treated does not protect you from future infections!

Other STIs such as HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) aren't curable, but they can be treated. Talk to your healthcare provider to start treatment as soon as possible. Early treatment not only helps you stay healthy but can also reduce your chance of spreading the virus to someone else.

 

If left untreated, STIs can cause very serious health problems such as:

  • Gonorrhea can cause men and women to become infertile (unable to have children)
  • Long term syphilis infection can damage internal organs
  • HIV can progress to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome)

Having one STI also increases your chances of getting other STIs. So get treated, stay healthy!   

 

To learn more about STIs, visit www.bphc.org/STI

Apr 24
Si tienes una ITS, ¡comienza a ser tratado!

Si tienes una ITS, ¡comienza a ser tratado!

La mayoría de las infecciones de transmisión sexual (ITS) se pueden curar con la medicina adecuada. Las infecciones bacterianas como la clamidia, la gonorrea y la sífilis se pueden curar con antibióticos. Recuerde que debe tomar el medicamento según las indicaciones y nunca debe de compartir sus medicamentos con otras personas. Si es seguro hacerlo, hable con su pareja (s) sexual sobre hacerse la prueba de ITS. Si su pareja sexual está infectada, es importante tratarle al mismo tiempo para evitar la reinfección. ¡El tener una ITS y terminar el tratamiento con éxito no le protegerá  contra las infecciones futuras!

Otras ITS como el VIH (Virus de Inmunodeficiencia Humana) no son curables, pero son tratables. Hable con su proveedor de atención médica para comenzar el tratamiento tan pronto como sea posible. El tratamiento temprano no sólo ayuda a mantenerse sano, pero también puede reducir la probabilidad de transmitir el virus a otra persona.

Si no se tratan, las ITS pueden causar problemas de salud muy graves, tales como:

  • La gonorrea puede causar que hombres y mujeres se vuelven infértiles (incapaces de tener hijos)
  • La infección a largo plazo de la sífilis puede dañar los órganos internos
  • El VIH puede progresar a SIDA (síndrome de inmunodeficiencia adquirida)

Tener una ITS también aumenta las posibilidades de contraer otras ITS. Reciba tratamiento, ¡manténgase saludable!   

Para aprender más sobre las ITS, visite www.bphc.org/STI

Apr 24
April 22-29, 2017 is National Infant Immunization Week

​Are your children's vaccinations up-to-date?​

Did you know that whooping cough, which is also called pertussis, is very contagious and most serious for babies? People with whooping cough usually spread the disease by coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others, who then breathe in the germ. Many babies who get whooping cough are infected by parents, older siblings, or other caregivers who might not even know they have the disease. When babies catch whooping cough, the symptoms can be very serious. Young babies could get pneumonia (lung infection), and many have trouble breathing. About half of babies younger than 1 year old who get whooping cough end up in the hospital, and a few even die from the disease.

Vaccines save lives!

Vaccines can protect children from 14 serious diseases before they turn 2! It's easy to think of these as diseases of the past. But the truth is they still exist. Children in the United States can—and do—still get some of these diseases.

You can also provide extra protection to your children by making sure those around them are current on their vaccines. When family members and caregivers of children are vaccinated, they are not only protecting their own health from vaccine preventable diseases, but they are also helping to limit the children's exposure to these diseases. This is especially important in the children's first few months of life when they haven't been fully vaccinated.  ​

Talk to your health care provider to make sure you and your children are up-to-date with their vaccinations.

To learn more about vaccines, visit Vaccination Myths and Facts.


Apr 19
Mayor Walsh Announces Call for Artists for Finland Building

​Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced a call for artists for temporary public artwork on the exterior of the Finland Building at 774 Albany Street. The call for artists is a joint effort between the Boston Public Health Commission, the Mayor's Office of Recovery Services, the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, and the Boston Art Commission.   

"The City is working hard to improve the neighborhood around Melnea Cass and Massachusetts Avenue, and we see public art as an integral part of this initiative," said Mayor Walsh. "This call for artists offers our local creatives an opportunity to create art that embodies the values of resiliency and hope, offering encouragement and support for those who utilize recovery services."

The Finland building houses a number of the Boston Public Health Commission's addiction recovery services programs. Clients come to the Finland building for a broad range of services, including harm reduction services, which are a set of practical strategies aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use, and as an entry point for detox and other treatment programs. The building is adjacent to Boston Healthcare for the Homeless and across from Boston Medical Center, the city's safety-net hospital. 

"Our team at the Finland have created an environment where everyone feels welcome, cared for, and connected," said BPHC Executive Director Monica Valdes Lupi, JD, MPH. "Adding a warm and inviting artistic element outside of the building will help us strengthen efforts to engage clients who might be otherwise intimidated by the idea of seeking services for the first time. It will also build on our work to be a good neighbor in our community."

The proposed space for public art is an outside wall next to the entrance of the Finland Building. The entire wall is available and measures 70' x 20'. A second, perpendicular wall is also available and artists may propose an artwork that spans both walls.  

"We are excited about this opportunity to beautify a City building that is a central access point for addiction recovery supports," said Jen Tracey, Director of the Mayor's Office of Recovery Services. "Public art is one strategy the City is using to reflect the strength and resiliency of the people who access our services."

The call for artists is open to all professional artists, artisans or teams with experience in public art, site responsive design and project management.  The initial amount budgeted for this project is $8,000, which includes artist fee, materials, and installation.  The artist will be selected by the Artist Selection Committee, which is comprised of representatives from the Mayor's Office of Recovery Services and the Boston Public Health Commission as well as two local artists. The final artwork design will be approved by the Boston Art Commission.  The call is available online and all submissions are due by noon on May 9, 2017.

"As we look to integrate public art across the city, it's important that each installation considers the uniqueness of the neighborhood," said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston.  "We know that art can be a powerful ally in the recovery process.  We are looking forward to seeing how the artists can offering messages of hope and healing through their work."

In the span of only a few square miles, there are several opioid treatment clinics, two of the largest emergency shelters in the region, a detox facility, a long-term residential treatment program, a resource and referral center that places scores of individuals in treatment every day, a peer recovery center, the biggest harm reduction site in New England, and a world-class health-care organization whose mission it is to serve our city's most vulnerable residents.

More information and applications are available online.

Apr 17
STI Awareness Month: Get tested!

Get tested. It's the only way to know for sure if you have an STI.

Many sexually transmitted infections (STIs) don't cause any symptoms. If you're having sex, getting tested is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health, and it's the only way to know for sure if you're infected.

Yearly STI testing is recommended for:

  • All sexually active men and women under the age of 25
  • People who have had unprotected sex​

More frequent testing (every 3 to 6 months) is recommended for people at high risk. These include:

  • People with multiple partners
  • Men who have sex with men (MSM)

You should also get tested:

  • When you are pregnant
  • 3 months after treatment for a sexually transmitted infection
  • Every time you have a new partner if you are unsure of the partner's status

If you're not comfortable talking with your regular healthcare provider about STI testing, find a clinic near you that provides confidential and free or low-cost testing.


List of free and confidential STI testing clinics in Boston

For help finding a testing site near you, call the the Mayor's Health Line at 617-534-5050 or visit http://www.hivtest.org/STDTesting.aspx.

To learn more about STIs, visit www.bphc.org/STI


Apr 17
Hacerse la prueba. Es la única manera de saber con seguridad si tiene una ITS.

Hacerse la prueba. Es la única manera de saber con seguridad si tiene una ITS.

Muchas de las infecciones de transmisión sexual (ITS) no causan ningún síntoma. Si usted está teniendo sexo, hacerse la prueba es una de las cosas más importantes que puede usted hacer para proteger su salud y también es la única manera de saber con seguridad si usted está infectado.

Se recomienda pruebas de ITS anual para:

  • Todos los hombres y mujeres sexualmente activos menores de 25 años de edad
  • Las personas que han tenido relaciones sexuales sin usar protección

Se recomienda más frecuente pruebas (cada 3 a 6 meses) para las personas con alto riesgo, estos incluyen:

  • Las personas con múltiples parejas
  • Hombres que tienen sexo con hombres (HSH)

También se debe hacer la prueba:

  • Si está embarazada
  •  3 meses después de ser tratada contra una infección de transmisión sexual
  • Cada vez que tenga una nueva pareja si no está seguro de su estado de salud 

Si no se siente cómodo hablando con su proveedor de atención médica regular sobre las pruebas de ITS, busque una clínica cercana que ofrece pruebas confidenciales y gratuitos o de bajo costo.

Para una lista de clínicas que ofrecen pruebas de ITS gratis y confidenciales en Boston, visite http://www.bphc.org/whatwedo/sexual-health/ItCouldBeHiding/Pages/Where-Can-I-Get-Tested.aspx. También puede encontrar un sitio que ofrezcan pruebas cerca de usted, llamando a la Línea de Salud del Alcalde al 617-534-5050 o visite http://www.hivtest.org/STDTesting.aspx.

 

Para aprender más sobre las ITS, visite www.bphc.org/STI


Apr 10
April 10th is National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

​​​

April 10th is National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Did you know that in the United States, more than 1 in 5 new HIV diagnoses were in young people aged 13-24 years? Even though recent data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show fewer high school students are reporting to be sexually active, condom use has decreased among this age group. More than 40% of sexually active high school students report not using a condom the last time they had sex. Additionally, only 10% of sexually active high school students have ever been tested for HIV.

It is important for young people to be provided with the tools they need to reduce their risk of getting HIV. Young people need to understand what HIV is, how it is transmitted and what they can do to protect themselves.  

Safer sex practices

  • Always use a latex, nitrile or polyurethane condom or barrier (dental dam) when having sex (vaginal, oral, or anal).
  • Condoms made from "natural" materials may protect against pregnancy but NOT HIV or other STIs.
  • Limit your number of sex partners.
  • Talk with your partner about their status and getting tested.
  • Talk with your health care provider about safer sex practices and getting tested.
  • Understand that having sex while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol can increase the likelihood of unprotected sex.
  • Do not share needles or "works" if you are injecting drugs.

Getting Tested

Everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. Talk to your health care provider about getting tested.

You should get tested more often if you: 

  • are a man who has sex with men
  • had sex—anal or vaginal—with an HIV-positive partner
  • had more than one sex partner since your last HIV test
  • injected drugs and shared needles or works with others
  • exchanged sex for drugs or money
  • have been diagnosed with or treated for another sexually transmitted infection (STI)
  • have been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis or tuberculosis (TB)
  • had sex with someone whose sexual history you don't know

There are also several free and confidential testing centers in Boston. To find a testing center near you:

To learn more about HIV, visit www.bphc.org/hiv.

Apr 10
STI Awareness Month: Syphilis

During 2014-2015, syphilis rates increased. Men in general, and men who have sex with men (MSM) specifically, continue to face the highest levels of syphilis. In recent years, syphilis has also risen among women. In addition, there has been a sharp increase in the number of babies born with syphilis in the United States. Syphilis has the ability to affect many communities at anytime and anywhere, which is why it is important for everyone to learn what syphilis is and what can be done to prevent it from spreading!

What is syphilis?

Syphilis is caused by bacteria and it is spread from person to person through direct skin to skin contact with a syphilis sore. Syphilis sores may be present on the vagina, penis, anus, mouth, lips or in the rectum. Syphilis can spread during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Syphilis can be passed even if the syphilis sore is not seen or felt, so people can pass syphilis even if they don't know they are infected. Syphilis can also be passed from a pregnant mother to the fetus (congenital syphilis). Having unprotected sex (sex without a condom) increases the chance of getting syphilis. While men and women are at risk for the infection, men account for the most cases of syphilis, with the vast majority of those cases occurring among MSM.

If left untreated, syphilis can cause serious health problems. Long term infection without treatment can damage internal organs. Up to 40% of babies born to women with untreated syphilis may be stillborn or die from the infection as a newborn. For those babies that survive, they may develop health complications from deformed bones to brain and nerve problems (like blindness or deafness).

How can you protect yourself from getting syphilis?

Lower your risk of getting syphilis by ALWAYS using a condom when having anal, vaginal and/or oral sex. Other safer sex practices include:

  • Reduce your number of sexual partners
  • Talk with your partner(s) about their STI status and getting tested
  • Understand that having sex while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol can increase the likelihood of unprotected sex

Syphilis can be treated with antibiotics. If you suspect you have syphilis, talk to your healthcare provider to get tested and treated. Even after you've been successfully treated, you can be re-infected if you are exposed again. Want to learn more? Visit www.bphc.org/STI

Apr 10
¿Qué es sífilis?

Durante el periodo del 2014-2015, los casos de sífilis aumentaron. Hombres en general, y hombres que tienen sexo con otros hombres (HSH) específicamente, continúan a tener los niveles más altos de sífilis. También subió el número de bebes que nacieron con sífilis en los Estados Unidos. Sífilis puede afectar a muchas comunidades en cualquier tiempo y en cualquier lugar. Es por eso que es importante que todos aprendan sobre el sífilis y aprender que se puede hacer para prevenir la propagación de esta enfermedad!

¿Qué es sífilis?

Sífilis es causada por bacterias y se transmite de persona a persona a través de contacto directo con la piel que tenga una úlcera de sífilis. Sífilis puede estar presente en la vagina, el pene, el ano, la boca, los labios o en el recto. Se propaga durante el sexo vaginal, anal u oral. Sífilis se puede pasar incluso si no hay se sienta el ulcera de sífilis. Sífilis también puede pasar de una madre embarazada al feto (sífilis congénita). Tener relaciones sexuales sin protección (sexo sin condón) aumenta la probabilidad de contraer sífilis. Aunque todos, hombres y mujeres, tienen riesgo de ser infectados, los hombres representan la mayoría de los casos de sífilis, con la gran mayoría de los casos que se producen entre HSH.

Si no se trata, sífilis puede causar serios problemas de salud. La infección a largo plazo sin tratamiento puede dañar los órganos internos. Hasta el 40% de los bebés nacidos de mujeres con sífilis que no reciben tratamiento pueden nacer muertos o morir de la infección como recién nacidos. Para los bebés que sobreviven, ellos pueden desarrollar complicaciones de salud de los huesos deformados a problemas cerebrales y nerviosos (como ceguera o sordera).

¿Cómo puede protegerse contra sífilis?

Reduzca el riesgo de contraer sífilis usando SIEMPRE un condón cuando tenga relaciones sexuales (anal, vaginales y/u orales). Otras prácticas que puede reducir su riesgo a contraer sífilis incluyen:

  • Reducir el número de parejas sexuales
  • Hable con su (s) pareja (s) sobre su estado de ITS y hágase la prueba
  • Entender que tener relaciones sexuales mientras está bajo de la influencia de drogas y /o alcohol puede aumentar la probabilidad de sexo sin protección
Sífilis puede ser tratada con antibióticos. Si sospecha que tiene sífilis, hable con su proveedor de atención médica para hacerse la prueba y comenzar tratamiento si es necesario. Recuerde, aunque haya sido tratado en el pasado, si es expuesto al sífilis de nuevo, se puede re-infectar. ¿Quiere más información? Visite www.bphc.org/STI. ​

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Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: info@bphc.org