Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

Marla Ahlgrimm | Retired Pharmacist | Leading Expert in Women's Health

Marla Ahlgrimm | HIV Testing for Women

hiv-1903373_640HIV is an immune system virus that weakens the body’s natural defense against even common illnesses, says Marla Ahlgrimm. The virus destroys good cells and replaces them with copies of itself, eventually rendering the immune system virtually worthless. Untreated, HIV will develop into AIDS, its most progressive stage, within 10 to 15 years.

Thankfully, advancements in medical technology in the form of anti-retroviral treatments are now available. People suffering with HIV can live relatively normal and healthy lives and delay onset of AIDS. As reported by Marla Ahlgrimm, the earlier a person is treated, the better chance they have of a positive long-term prognosis.

As a retired women’s healthcare advocate and industry entrepreneur, Marla Ahlgrimm asserts that HIV testing is important for all women over the age of 15. Women who are pregnant should consider HIV testing early on so that she and her healthcare provider can monitor possible complications during each trimester.

According to Marla Ahlgrimm, if you think you’ve been exposed to HIV, don’t hesitate to get tested. Keep in mind, however, that traditional tests may not pick up an early infection since specific antibodies have yet to develop. It usually takes between three and 12 weeks for antibodies to colonize in quantities enough to register a positive test. Many physicians now offer an early, but considerably more expensive, test that searches for specific viral markers in the blood. This may or may not be available through all healthcare providers.

Many health clinics provide HIV testing for free or low-cost based on your income. Likewise, many insurance providers offer free testing under guidelines set forth by the Affordable Care Act. Marla Ahlgrimm notes that pregnant women utilizing Medicare may be eligible for up to three HIV tests throughout the duration of the pregnancy.


Author: Marla Ahlgrimm

Pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm revolutionized the field of women’s health in the 1970s and continues to do so today. After introducing the term “premenstrual syndrome” to the American public in the late 1970s, Marla Ahlgrimm has continued to focus her pharmacy practice over the years to successfully address hormone concerns that affect women as they age. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Marla Ahlgrimm co-founded Madison Pharmacy Associates, and it was there she fine tuned individualized care protocols and prescription medication to optimize a woman’s hormonal health. One of the first hormone issues that Marla tackled was Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS. At that time, there were no diagnosis or treatment options to address the severe symptoms that many women were reporting. As a result of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s intense attention to women’s health, Madison Pharmacy Associates gained a national reputation as an innovative practice. Founded in 1982, Madison Pharmacy Associates was the first pharmacy to special in women’s health in the nation. Thanks to the expertise of Marla Ahlgrimm, Madison Pharmacy Associates became known for the management of PMS. Over the years, Madison Pharmacy Associates evolved with Marla Ahlgrimm’s careful guidance, providing the national PMS Access newsletter, as well as a toll-free line where patients could obtain referrals to physicians who had the expertise to help them manage their symptoms. Marla Ahlgrimm founded Women’s Health America, Inc. in 1993 to help women by providing individualized hormonal medications to address the complex health issues of women and also to provide practical, helpful women’s health information. Over the years, Marla Ahlgrimm’s vision has grown to include Women’s Health America, Madison Pharmacy Associates, PMS Access and Cyclin Pharmaceuticals. In addition to her accomplishments with these landmark organizations, Marla Ahlgrimm is an author, having published two watershed books, The HRT Solution and Self-Help for Premenstrual Syndrome. Marla Ahlgrimm has also been published in numerous national publications, including serving as a columnist for The American Journal of Natural Medicine. Today, the primary work of Marla Ahlgrimm centers on natural hormone therapy, an important area for the large number of women who are menopausal and postmenopausal. Marla Ahlgrimm ’s work is unique because of her focus on individualized, natural hormone therapy options. According to pharmacist, Marla Ahlgrimm, many health issues facing women today are related to hormone changes. Using an individualized approach to therapy, she reports that many women feel reenergized for the first time in years. In addition to recognition in publications and journals, Marla Ahlgrimm has been recognized with a number awards over the span of her career. Some of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s most notable awards have been the YWCA’s acknowledgment of Marla Ahlgrimm as one of its Women of Distinction and recognition by her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, as one of its Distinguished Alumni. Above all of the awards and honors, Marla Ahlgrimm finds that helping so many women is the greatest accomplishment of all. In fact, says Marla Ahlgrimm, she still works with some of her very first patients and their doctors. These women once sought the help of Marla Ahlgrimm for PMS, she says, and today she is helping them manage symptoms of menopause and the years that follow.

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