Martha Warriner-Jarrett, a 72-year-old, white, heterosexual woman, is in the demographic group least at-risk for Human Immunodeficiency Virus.

But three years ago, after battling a bout of what her doctor thought was Fibromyalgia, she was hospitalized with a low white blood-cell count.

She had been sick for years. Doctors couldn’t figure it out — until she was hooked to a ventilator and tested for HIV. It just happened to be World AIDS Day, she said.

She tested positive.

“It was a huge shock to me. I didn’t know where it came from, was in denial for awhile and it took me six months to recover physically and emotionally and be able to deal with this,” Warriner-Jarrett said.

Her best guess is that she acquired it from her late husband, who died at 77 of what doctors diagnosed as double pneumonia. But after her diagnosis, she began to suspect that his illness was AIDS — Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, the virus that HIV causes.

Friday, three years after her diagnosis, Warriner-Jarrett came to the World AIDS Day event in downtown Bakersfield to urge anyone at risk to educate themselves on the disease, which infected almost 40,000 across the country last year and killed 6,721 in 2014, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most of all, Warriner-Jarrett wants people to get tested.

“It could have saved me a lot of grief and perhaps his life,” Warriner-Jarrett said, referring to her late husband.

Warriner-Jarrett was one of the dozens of people who turned out Friday for a local World AIDS Day resource fair that provided prevention strategies and free same-day HIV testing offered by Clinica Sierra Vista.

HIV attacks the body’s T Cells, crippling the body’s immune system and leaving those with the disease susceptible to other infections and infection-related cancers, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It can be transmitted sexually, through blood contact and by sharing needles. There’s no cure.

In Kern County, 3,009 people have reported having HIV/AIDS since 1981, and roughly 106 new cases have been reported annually on average in the past decade, according to Kern County Public Health Services Department data. Last year, there were 111 new diagnoses, including a newborn — the first neonatal case since 2002.

Because HIV screening is required during check-ups for expectant mothers, the diagnosis points to a lack of prenatal care, Public Health officials said.

But those numbers don’t tell the whole story, advocates say. Public Health officials say that 11 percent of all those in California, roughly 4.3 million people, are living with HIV, but are unaware and undiagnosed.

HIV wrecks the immune system, “but the problem is, it may take years before it does that,” said Dr. Alexandra Franco, an infectious disease and internal medicine specialist at Clinica Sierra Vista, who sees about 15 to 20 patients daily with HIV/AIDS. “You walk around with the virus in your blood and it’s very active, but you don’t feel anything. It might take, for some patients, up to two years, and for other patients, up to 20 years to develop symptoms.”

Most troubling, however, is the increasing number of cases among young people, Public Health officials said.

Last year, 2,024 people in Kern County reported living with HIV/AIDS, up 12 percent from the prior year. There was a 3 percent increase in the 13-to-19 and 20-to-29 age groups. Those in the 30-to-39 group saw the sharpest spike at 23 percent.

“We’re seeing people who are younger and younger,” said Shantell Waldo, a medical investigator with the Kern County Public Health Services Department, who scours Kern County streets looking for those with sexually transmitted diseases to pair them with services they need.

Her colleague, Enrique Ramirez, chalks that up to a recent lack of education and media exposure for HIV.

During the disease’s height in the 1980s and 1990s, HIV was considered a death sentence. High profile celebrities like Earvin “Magic” Johnson got it and fought it off, but actor Rock Hudson and musician Freddy Mercury died of it.

Millions of people from around the world picked up the 1990 issue of Life Magazine that depicted a haunting image of David Kirby, an AIDS activist, gasping for final breaths on his deathbed.

The disease couldn’t be ignored.

But now, treatment of the disease has seen so many advances that it’s fallen out of the public eye, Ramirez said. Younger people just aren’t getting tested.

“We see young people passing away,” Ramirez said. “And it’s 2017 — this shouldn’t be happening.”

There was just one medication available in the mid-1980s: Zudovudine. The antiretroviral delayed development of AIDS of patients infected with HIV, but its common side effects — which doctors described as “toxic” — included nausea, vomiting, headaches, fatigue, and muscle pain.

Doctors say there’s since been a host of new treatments developed and approved that reduce HIV to something as treatable as diabetes.

She tells her newly diagnosed patients that managing HIV these days is as easy as taking a birth control pill.

There’s also been developments in preventative medication, like Truvada, an HIV antiviral that blocks the virus from replicating in the bloodstream, said Dr. Frank Lang, an infectious disease physician with Kaiser Permanente.

At-risk patients can take that daily antiviral pill and, as one advocate said Friday, decrease the chances of contracting HIV to a level “slightly higher than that of a nun.”

And lifestyles can change, too. It used to be that those with HIV were shunned from having children for fear of passing the disease off to their newborns. Now, with proper treatment that suppresses the virus from making copies, that’s not the case.

“Recent studies show that if you’re undetectable, the risk of transmission to your negative partner and children is very, very low and close to zero,” Franco said, adding that those with HIV can lead long, normal and healthy lives. “HIV should not be a death sentence anymore.”

Harold Pierce covers education and health for The Californian. He can be reached at 661-395-7404. Follow him on Twitter @RoldyPierce

(12) comments

marria

Greetings to the general public, i want to tell about how i was cured of HIV/AIDS disease by a Doctor called Dr Agbebaku. I was browsing through the Internet searching for remedy on HIV and i saw comment of people talking about how Doctor Agbebaku cured them. I Was scared because i never believed in the Internet but i was convince to give him a try because i having no hope of been cured of HIV/AIDS so i decided to contact him with his email that was listed on the comment dragbebakuspellsolutiontemple@gmail.com when i contacted him he gave me hope and send a Herbal medicine to me that i took and it seriously worked for me, am a free person now without problem, my HIV result came out negative. I pray for you Dr Agbebaku God will give you everlasting life, you shall not die before your time for being a sincere and great men. Am so happy, you can also contact him if you have any problem E-mail him dragbebakuspellsolutiontemple@gmail.com or Add him up on WhatsApp +2349053099479 or call +2349035850834 .

LynAnd01

Natural herbs have cured so many illness that drugs and injection and western medicine can't cure. I've seen the great importance of natural herbs and the wonderful work they have done in people's lives. I read people's testimonies online on how they were cured of Herpes, HPV, HIV, Cancer, Diabetics etc by Dr. Uyi herbal medicine, so i decided to contact the doctor because i know nature herbs has great power to heal anything. I was diagnosed with HSV and HPV for some years but Dr. Uyi cured me with his herbs and i referred my aunt and her husband to him immediately because they were both suffering from herpes and now they are both cured. I know is hard to believe but am a living testimony, there is no harm trying herbs. He is a great Doc.

Contact Dr. Uyi via email: uyiherbalmedicationcenter@gmail.com OR Phone/WhatsApp no: +2348077199766.

https://uyiherbalmedicatio9.wixsite.com/uyiherbalcure

Rose134

i am Rose from UNITED STATES i was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS for over 12 years which made loose my job and my relationship with my fiance after he discovered that i was having HIV, he departed from me i tried all my best to make him stays with me, but neglected me until a friend of mine on Facebook from Singapore told me Great healer, who will restore my life back with his powerful healing spell, he sent me the email address to contact and i quickly contacted him, and he said my condition can solved, that he will treat the disease immediately only if i can accept trust him and accept his terms and condition, i Agreed because i was so much in need of help by all means, so i did all he want from me and surprisingly on Sunday last week He sent me a text, that i should hurry up to the hospital for a checkup, which i truly did, i confirm from my doctor that i am now ( HIV NEGATIVE) my eyes filled with tears and joy, crying heavily because truly the disease deprived me of many things from my life, This is a Miracle, Please do not en-devour to email drtebe2@gmail.com or whatsapp Dr Tebe on +2348140544262 for healings Thanks

Sara Richard

Many people wonder if there is a natural cure for HIV or are looking for ways on how to get rid of HIV for good. there are many natural HIV remedies that can put HIV into remission. there is a method for how to get rid of HIV Wish is taking of herbal medicines. My problem with HIV has caused me many traumas,especially in my love life.I was so afraid of infecting my boyfriend, I suffered the embarrassment of visiting dermatologists queries hundreds of times.Unfortunately,they did not find a definitive solution to my problem.The solution came from the least expected herbal doctor which is Dr ZACK BALO. By reading in a specialized forum on the subject,How to cure HIV virus completely. Many people had tried, with excellent and quick results.I had nothing to lose so I decided to contact Dr ZACK BALO through his website: http://drzackbalo.website2.me/ and use his herbal medicine to eliminate my HIV DISEASE. I spent two weeks using his herbal medicine and today my HIV is completely disappeared and turn out negative after numerous test from different hospital. I recommend this method to all people who want to eliminate the HIV from their body forever, The doctor contact email, wiseindividualspell@gmail.com call or text him +13203967742.

Sara Richard

Many people wonder if there is a natural cure for HIV or are looking for ways on how to get rid of HIV for good. there are many natural HIV remedies that can put HIV into remission. there is a method for how to get rid of HIV Wish is taking of herbal medicines. My problem with HIV has caused me many traumas,especially in my love life.I was so afraid of infecting my boyfriend, I suffered the embarrassment of visiting dermatologists queries hundreds of times.Unfortunately,they did not find a definitive solution to my problem.The solution came from the least expected herbal doctor which is Dr ZACK BALO. By reading in a specialized forum on the subject,How to cure HIV virus completely. Many people had tried, with excellent and quick results.I had nothing to lose so I decided to contact Dr ZACK BALO through his website: http://drzackbalo.website2.me/ and use his herbal medicine to eliminate my HIV DISEASE. I spent two weeks using his herbal medicine and today my HIV is completely disappeared and turn out negative after numerous test from different hospital. I recommend this method to all people who want to eliminate the HIV from their body forever, The doctor contact email, wiseindividualspell@gmail.com call or text him +13203967742.

jole118

Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my husband after three(3) years of marriage just because another woman had a spell on him and he left me and the kid to suffer. one day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how this spell caster on this address gbojiespiritualtemple@gmail.com , have help a woman to get back her husband and i gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that he will help me and after 2 days that i will have my husband back. i believed him and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because i am now happy with my husband. Thanks for Dr,gbojie . His email: gbojiespiritualtemple@gmail.com OR.His WhatsApp Number:+2349066410185

Anna luccy

Though i haven't met DR aiwekhoe but i have being hearing and seeing his

wonderful doings on people's life.. This made me contacted him because i was

also diagnosed of hiv virus, When i contacted Him, without wasting time, he

started his Miraculous work in my Life, I am happy and Glad to say that i

am now cured after using his herbal Medicine.. You can also reach him on

draiwekhoe@gmail.com

Joshcoleman

My mouth is short of words, i am so so happy because DR ATEKHA has healed me
from HIV ailment which i have been suffering from the past 5years now, i
have spend alot when getting drugs from the hospital to keep me healthy, i
have tried all means in life to always i can become HIV negative one day,
but there was no answer until i found Dr Atekha from the paris of african
who provide me some healing spell that he uses to help me, now i am glad
telling everyone that i am now HIV Negative, i am very very happy, thank
you Dr Atekha for helping my life comes back newly without any form of
crisis, may the good lord that i serve blessed you Dr Atekha and equip you
to the higher grade for healing my life. i am so amazed. so i will
announced to everyone in this whole world that is HIV positive to please
follow my advice and get healed on time, because we all knows that HIV
disease is a deadly type,contact Dr Atekha for your Hiv healing spell today
at: dratekha99@gmail.com .... He will be always happy to assist you
online and ensure you get healed on time, contact Dr Atekha today for your
healing spell immediately, thank you sir: dratekha99@gmail.com
Or contact him via WhatsApp on +2348059097330.

Mary12

Natural herbs have cured so many illness that drugs and injection cant cure. I've seen the great importance of natural herbs and the wonderful work they have done in people's lives. i read people's testimonies online on how they were cured of herpes, hiv, diabetics etc by Dr. Ogba Kosu herbal medicine, so i decided to contact the doctor because i know nature has the power to heal anything. I was diagnosed with hiv for the past 7 years but Dr. Ogba Kuso cured me with his herbs and i referred my aunt and her hubsand to him immediately because they were both suffering from herpes but to God be the glory, they were cured too .I know is hard to believe but am a living testimony. There is no harm trying herbs. He is also a spell caster, he cast spell to restore broken marriages and he cast good luck spells to prosper and excel in life. Contact Dr. Ogba Kosu on: drogbakosu@gmail.com
Phone/Whatsap no: +2348137291215
facebook.com/Dr.OgbaKosucurecenter/

Mary12

Natural herbs have cured so many illness that drugs and injection cant cure. I've seen the great importance of natural herbs and the wonderful work they have done in people's lives. i read people's testimonies online on how they were cured of herpes, hiv, diabetics etc by Dr. Ogba Kosu herbal medicine, so i decided to contact the doctor because i know nature has the power to heal anything. I was diagnosed with hiv for the past 7 years but Dr. Ogba Kuso cured me with his herbs and i referred my aunt and her hubsand to him immediately because they were both suffering from herpes but to God be the glory, they were cured too .I know is hard to believe but am a living testimony. There is no harm trying herbs. He is also a spell caster, he cast spell to restore broken marriages and he cast good luck spells to prosper and excel in life. Contact Dr. Ogba Kosu on: drogbakosu@gmail.com
Phone/Whatsap no: +2348137291215
facebook.com/Dr.OgbaKosucurecenter/

tashamoore

I am bold enough among many others to state that there is now a potent cure to this sickness but many are unaware of it. I discovered that I was infected with the virus 3 months ago, after a medical check-up. My doctor told me and I was shocked, confused and felt like my world has crumbled. I was dying slowly due to the announcement of my medical practitioner but he assured me that I could leave a normal life if I took my medications (as there was no medically known cure to Herpes). I went from churches to churches but soon found that my case needed urgent attention as I was growing lean due to fear of dying anytime soon. In a bid to look for a lasting solution to my predicament, I sought for solutions from the herbal world. I went online and searched for every powerful trado-medical practitioner that I could severe, cos I heard that the African Herbs had a cure to the Herpes syndrome. It was after a little time searching the web that I came across one Dr Itua(A powerful African Herbal Doctor), who offered to help me at a monetary fee. I had to comply as this was my final bus-stop to receiving a perfect healing. My last resolve was to take my life by myself, should this plan fail. At last it worked out well. He gave me some steps to follow and I meticulously carried out all his instructions. Last month, to be precise, I went back to the hospital to conduct another test and to my amazement, the results showed that negative,Dr Itua Can As Well Cure The Following Desease…Cancer,Hiv,Herpes, Hepatitis B,Liver Inflammatory,Diabetis,Fribroid,Get Your Ex Back, You can free yourself of this Herpes virus by consulting this great African Herbal Doctor via this e-mail: drituaherbalcenter@gmail.com or call and whatsapp him on +2348149277967 He will help you and his herb medication is sure. he has the cure on all disease .You can talk to me on INSTAGRAM..tashamoore219....

Lishacool

It’s obvious some patient with HIV/AIDS OR CANCER are been enslaved to the antiviral and other supplementary Orthodox medicine just to help suppress the virus and not a cure. I have been with the virus for 5 yrs when i was introduced by a blogger who also narrated Her story online on how she was cured of Hepatitis B after using Dr MUNA Herbal Medicine. I took the same step to also get cure of HIV/AIDS, I made an order for DR MUNA Herbal Medicine and after taken for 2 weeks with a test result i was confirmed HIV FREE I have promise to keep telling good about this. You can Write him via his email: Marvelspelltemple@gmail.com and call or whatsapp him on +2348071660388

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.