Learn Your HIV Status – World AIDS Day is December 1st DuPage County— The only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested. Knowing your status is important because it helps you make healthy decisions to prevent getting or transmitting HIV. Testing is still important and available.
World AIDS Day, which has been observed since 1988, is important because it reminds the public, healthcare providers, and the government that HIV has not gone away—there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and stigma, and improve education. It also allows people to share their experiences and to remember those lost to this epidemic.
The theme for World AIDS Day 2021 is “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice.” This theme focuses on inclusion, equity, and better health for all those affected by HIV and AIDS. Learn what you can do to promote health equity, as well as HIV prevention, treatment, care, and research by visiting HIV.gov and CDC.gov/hiv.
More tools than ever are available to prevent HIV. If you have HIV or are at risk, it’s important to make choices that keep you healthy and protect others. You can use strategies such as abstinence (not having sex), limiting your number of sexual partners, never sharing needles, and using condoms the right way every time you have sex. You may also be able to take advantage of HIV prevention medicines, such as those used for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a once-daily pill that, when taken as prescribed, can protect HIV-negative people at high risk for infection. PrEP is up to 99 percent effective at preventing the sexual transmission of HIV and at least 74 percent effective for people who inject drugs. DuPage County Health Department offers PrEP at no cost as part of its Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic services and also provides PrEP trainings to healthcare providers.
DuPage County residents can be tested for HIV through several options including doctors’ offices, home-test kits, and at the Health Department’s Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Clinic, which provides screening, counseling, and referrals. HIV testing is provided at no cost. For information about HIV testing, PrEP, and treatment options in DuPage County, contact the Health Department at (630) 682-7400.