Stair Masters in Shreveport
SHREVEPORT – LSU Health Shreveport employees and students are making a conscious effort to take the stairs instead of the elevators as they move around campus.

Daci Platt, a research associate and Master of Public Health student, started the Stairs 2012 campaign because she wanted to increase the focus on employee wellness. “Taking the stairs rather than the elevators is one of the easiest things our employees can do for their health while on campus,” Platt said in a press release. “I hope the campaign will help people change their habits and incorporate taking the stairs more often into their routines.”

Throughout the month of April, employees were rewarded with prizes and special recognition for taking the stairs, and banners and signs throughout campus spread the message, as well. More announcements and updates on the campaign will be made on the Stairs 2012 Facebook page.

Capital City leads the nation in AIDS cases
BATON ROUGE – According to the HIV Surveillance Report released in March by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 33.7 per 100,000 people in the Baton Rouge area have an AIDS diagnosis, making the city No. 1 in the nation per capita. The Baton Rouge area includes East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Ascension, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, Livingston and St. Helena parishes. The same report showed that the Greater New Orleans area ranked fifth and Louisiana overall was No. 4.

A.J. Johnson, CEO and founder of the Baton Rouge AIDS Society, or BRASS, told the Daily Reveille that he believes the problem stems from lack of awareness and reluctance to discuss the issue and urges everyone to get tested and use condoms.

“If you’ve been sexually active and haven’t been tested, you’re part of the problem,” he said.

Johnson and Timothy Young, executive director for the HIV/AIDS Alliance for Region Two, or HAART, both say that late testing is a problem – people don’t get tested until they are already showing symptoms, at which point they could have unknowingly passed HIV on to their partners.

On the other hand, early testing is also a problem, said Seirra Fowler, a health promotion coordinator for the Louisiana State University Student Health Center. A person won’t test positive for HIV until up to three to six months after exposure. She added that up to 20 percent of people with HIV/AIDS are not aware that they are infected.

HIV is becoming an epidemic across the South with the black community being especially affected; according to the CDC, 1 in 16 black men and 1 in 32 black women will be diagnosed with HIV at some point in their lives.

Fowler said she hopes this new report will serve as a wake-up call to the Baton Rouge area to get tested, and Young added: “The most important thing that can be done is for everyone to have an HIV test and know their status.”

Both BRASS and HAART offer testing and counseling and work to promote education and awareness.

Better Options for Breast Reconstruction
NEW ORLEANS – According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, only half of all women diagnosed with breast cancer are provided with enough education and options to allow for a choice of breast reconstruction after a mastectomy.

However, the field of breast reconstruction has advanced to the point that new breasts can be created out of transplanted fat from unwanted fat deposits, creating a new breast out of living tissue. Microsurgical techniques also allow for “avoidance of sacrifice of the muscular core in the donor site, preservation of strength and enhancement of body contour after surgery,” according to a press release. In a new technique known as the BODY LIFT FlapSM Breast Reconstruction Procedure, fat taken from the waist is microsurgically transplanted in a double layer for each breast when both breasts are being reconstructed at the same time. The Center for Restorative Breast Surgery, or CRBS, developed this procedure over several years and is the only facility in the world to offer it.

Citing high satisfaction and success rates and high-quality aesthetic outcomes, Drs. Frank DellaCroce, Scott Sullivan and Christopher Trahan published an article on the new procedure in the current issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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