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HIV crisis facing black women in metro Atlanta

ATLANTA -- 11Alive News is sounding the alarm.

Research shows African-American women, many living in Atlanta, are being infected with HIV -- so much so that the new cases are being compared to African countries. 

Data collected in 2009 from the health departments in Clayton, Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, Douglas and Gwinnett counties indicates infection rates of HIV and AIDS, respectively, as follows: (This is for women and men combined, all races.)

Fulton: 4,213 and 7,342 

DeKalb: 3,257 and 3,983 

Clayton: 847 and 943 

Cobb and Douglas: 1,030 and 1,288 

Gwinnett: 884 and 1,041

In another study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, black women make up 60 percent of all new HIV cases among women. That's 15 times higher than white women and four percent higher than Hispanic women.

Seasonal flu vaccines still available to public in Cobb and Douglas counties

Cobb County - Cobb and Douglas Public Health staff is encouraging the public to show loved ones they care by adding one more gift to their list — flu vaccines. CDPH continues to offer annual flu vaccines to everyone six months and older at all public health centers.

This year's flu vaccine includes protection against three different viruses: an H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the H1N1 virus that caused so much illness last season. The cost is $20 and children without health insurance and children with Medicaid PeachCare are eligible for a sliding fee. Some insurance policies cover the entire cost, with no co-pay required. Appointments are not required. Health department staff also recommend pneumonia shots for people more than 65 years old or anyone with a chronic illness or weakened immune system.

In addition to vaccination, individuals can also reduce risk of getting the flu by following a few steps:

WellStreet plans 12 Metro Atlanta urgent care centers

WellStreet plans 12 Metro Atlanta urgent care centers

ATLANTA -- An Atlanta company called WellStreet Urgent Care said it plans to open 12 urgent care centers in Metro Atlanta in 2012.

The first center will open in January at 2292 Peachtree Road in Buckhead, the company said.

Others are planned in Alpharetta, Austell, Chastain, Decatur, Dunwoody, Marietta, Peachtree City, Sandy Springs and Woodstock, according to the company's website.

"By the end of 2012, the company plans to become the largest provider of urgent care services in the Atlanta metroplex," WellStreet said in a statement.

WellStreet said its centers will be open extended hours, seven days a week, and be located in neighborhood retail centers. The company's chief medical officer is Dr. Lee Resnick.

For more information, visit wellstreet.com.

LOCAL PROFILE: Turkey Day Fitness Tips

 

ATLANTA – Next week marks the start of the season many of us look forward to, year round. People love this season, dubbed “the most wonderful time of the year”, for a number of reasons. For children it could be the toys and gifts they receive or the annual visit to Grandma’s house. Or for adults it could be the abundant holiday cheer or the abundant holiday food it's okay to consume for the mere sake of the holiday. For some, the holidays can be too cheery and many end up heavier than they were before they started. 

Was the holiday food really worth a holiday gut? Think again.

Many people struggle with this issue, year in and year out. Some go on crash diets before the holiday or workout until they’re fatigued to “make room” for their Thanksgiving Feast but Amy Henry at FORUM Fitness in Buckhead thinks they’re all “wasting their time”.

Stucco company fined $78K by OSHA

Stucco company fined $78K by OSHA

POWDER SPRINGS, Ga. -- A Powder Springs-based company has been fined $78,000 for exposing workers to fall hazards, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

This is the third time Escape Stucco and Stone has been fined by OSHA; previous incidents were reported and investigated in January 2011 and December 2010.

About $70,000 of the proposed fine involved workers using a scaffolding system that was not well supported while working on a chimney at a building on South Cobb Drive in Smyrna.

The remaining $8,000 revolved around the company's reported lack of a written hazard communication program for employees who were using strong chemicals, as well as additional scaffolding issues.

Take-back event yields 3,800 pounds of drugs

Take-back event yields 3,800 pounds of drugs

ATLANTA -- The third National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Oct. 29 was a huge success in Georgia.

Participants turned in about 3,794.35 pounds of unwanted and expired medication for safe disposal at numerous sites across the state.

This amount exceeded the weight of the drugs collected at the second event in April, which was about 3,509 pounds.

"The total number of drugs taken back in Georgia speaks volumes about the problem of unused and unneeded prescriptions, the danger they pose to the community and the communities' commitment to making prescription drug abuse a top priority in the state," John Comer, acting special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Atlanta Field Division, said in a statement.

Task force to arm parents with tools to prevent teen drinking

Task force to arm parents with tools to prevent teen drinking

MARIETTA, Ga. -- Despite being among the top three killers of Americans under age 21, many parents do not seem to realize that underage drinking is a major problem.

The Cobb Alcohol Taskforce is partnering with the PTAs at local schools to give parents an important skill set to prevent teen drinking. A meeting for all Cobb parents will be held Wednesday, Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Cobb Central Library.

Several local experts will give insight into this growing issue, including Cobb Alcohol Taskforce coordinator Cathy Finck.

"The brain goes through dynamic change during adolescence, and alcohol can seriously damage long and short term brain growth processes," Finck said. "The research is compelling, but more parents need to know about it. We hope arming PTAs will help get the facts and useful tips to more parents for saving teen brains."