By Godfrey Lee
On the eve of the upcoming East Bay Aids Walk, Dr. Anthony Jones, M.D., of the East Bay Physicians Medical Group said, “AIDS is still a major threat to the health of the African American and the other ethnic communities in the Bay Area.”
“We must still learn about AIDS, because it is affecting our communities very severely and too many people are dying,” said Jones..
Jones warned, “Perhaps the general population is tired of hearing about HIV, and has grown numb to the message, but the communities of color have not talked or learned enough about why they are being decimated by AIDS.”
He urged that everyone should be screened on a regular basis, especially those that are sexually active, to prevent the spread of the dreaded disease.
Jones advised that the earlier the person and or their partner gets tested, the better are the chances that they will not have full blown AIDS. He said it is better for AIDS patients to be put on medicine early when their immune system is strong.
He said HIV testing is confidential and available to anyone in the state.
Jones gave an optimistic forecast for patients who are diagnosed early with HIV. He said, “If diagnosed and treated early, one can expect to live a normal life expectancy.
“Women, especially if they are pregnant, should also get tested, and, If an infected mother seeks treatment early, the baby will have a less than 1% chance of receiving HIV from the mother.”
Jones said in California, there is an effort to screen all pregnant women for HIV, so that they can be treated as soon as they get medical care.
Dr. Anthony Jones, M.D. was born and raised in Madera. He graduated from Stanford University, and attended the Medical School at the University of Washington. He treated HIV patients in Contra Costa County. In August of 2009, he came to Oakland to work with the late Dr. Robert Scott. Dr Jones is currently working at Oakland’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center- at Summit, treating HIV/AIDS patients. He also teaches residents in training about medicine and HIV.