Important COVID-19 Updates: Office Guidelines | Vaccine and Pregnant Women

Monday, March 20, 2023

Take Action Against HIV/AIDS: Get Tested

We’ve made great strides in the fight to eliminate HIV and AIDS, but we still have a long way to go. Awareness is especially important because, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 1.2 million people in the United States have HIV (about 25 percent are women), including about 158,500 people who are unaware of their status. 

With National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in March, we wanted to share the latest screening recommendations and prevention strategies, so you can take action against HIV/AIDS.

Testing is Key

People who are infected with HIV but don’t know it can unwittingly spread it. In fact, the CDC reports nearly 40 percent of new infections are transmitted by people who don’t know they have the virus. The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 gets tested for HIV at least once, so if you’ve never had the test, talk to your health care provider.


The frequency of further testing depends on your risk factors, which include things like sexual partners, drug use or other illnesses you have or have been treated for. This is something you can discuss with your health care provider. If you are at increased risk of infection, testing at least annually may be recommended. HIV tests are covered by health insurance without a co-pay.


Prevention Strategies

The two primary ways of contracting HIV are through sexual contact and sharing needles, so the best way to prevent infection is by avoiding both.


If you are sexually active, you can reduce your risk of infection by:

·         Using condoms properly every time you have vaginal or anal sex

·         Using water or silicone-based lubricants, which help prevent condoms from breaking or slipping

·         Being monogamous with a partner who has also tested negative for the virus

·         Taking PrEP, a medicine for people at risk for HIV

·         Getting tested and treated for other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), as they can increase your risk of contracting HIV


Your Partners in Care

Talking about your risk factors for STDs with your women’s health provider should be a part of your routine annual appointment. We can answer your questions, develop a personal screening schedule and determine the prevention strategies that will work best for you. Call us for an appointment.