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Learn Your HIV Status. World AIDS Day is December 1.

Fri November 30, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DUPAGE COUNTY-The DuPage County Health Department is encouraging individuals to know their human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status by getting tested in honor of World AIDS Day, Saturday, Dec. 1. Early knowledge of HIV status is powerful and can help individuals take steps to keep themselves and their partners healthy.

World AIDS Day, which has been observed since 1988, is important because it reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away-there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice, and improve education.

The theme for World AIDS Day 2018 is "Saving Lives through Leadership and Partnerships." The day provides an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for those living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Learn what you can do to promote HIV prevention, treatment, care, and research by visiting HIV.gov.

An estimated 36.9 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide and an estimated. 35.4 million people have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the beginning of the epidemic. Today, scientific advances have been made in HIV prevention and treatment and there are laws to protect people living with HIV. 

More tools than ever are now available to prevent HIV. 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 newer HIV prevention medicines such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). For example, 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 lowers the risk of sexual transmission of HIV by up to 90 percent and the risk of transmission via injection drug use by up to 70 percent.

DuPage County residents may be tested for HIV through a number of options including doctors' offices, home-test kits, and at the Health Department's Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Clinic, which provides screening, counseling, and referrals. Testing is free for persons under 18 years of age.

For information about HIV testing, PrEP, and treatment options in DuPage County, contact the Health Department at (630) 682-7400.

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