| || |
County Public Health to commemorate World AIDS Day
November 27, 2019
SOLANO COUNTY – Everyone is welcome to join the Solano County Department of Health and Social Services, Public Health division and the Solano AIDS Coalition on Sunday, December 1 for a candlelight vigil for HIV awareness at the Vallejo City Hall, located at 555 Santa Clara Street in Vallejo. The event, which starts at noon, will honor and observe the lives of those lost from AIDS, celebrate advances made in the prevention and spread of HIV and by providing free HIV testing to the public.
Getting tested is the only way to know your status
There are approximately 135,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in California. An estimated 2,166 HIV/AIDS cases have been reported in Solano County. One in seven HIV positive individuals are unaware of their infection. Solano County Public Health encourages everyone to get an HIV test at least once in their lifetime. Depending on an individual's sexual activities and preferences, it may be beneficial to get tested for HIV more often. The virus is spread by having contact with certain bodily fluids, such as blood or semen from a person with HIV. If untreated, HIV can lead to AIDS, the late stage of HIV infection. Getting tested for HIV is now quicker and easier, thus enabling people to get access to early treatment.
Using PrEP reduces the risk of HIV infection
In 2012, the Federal Drug Administration approved the use of HIV medication called Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), a daily pill that can protect individuals from contracting HIV. Studies on PrEP show that this treatment is highly effective in reducing HIV transmission. HIV cannot be spread through sexual contact when the person carrying the virus is consistently taking the PrEP medication, meaning the amount of virus in their blood cannot be detected.
"Regular screenings and PrEP medications are extremely valuable tools in the prevention and spread of HIV/AIDS in our community," said Dr. Christine Wu, Solano County Deputy Health Officer and STD/HIV Controller. “We need to focus on helping young people access the care they need, get them tested, and have them take control of their health.”
The HIV Prevention Program is also partnering with Mercury Pharmacy - Solano County’s PrEP navigation specialty pharmacy - to assist people at higher risk get access to PrEP. Solano County’s HIV Prevention Program also provides free rapid HIV tests which can be requested via the HIV hotline at (707) 398-8317.
The County’s Family Health Services (FHS) clinics provide treatment for HIV-positive individuals and preventive medication for PrEP. The FHS clinics also offer walk-in screenings for other sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea.
For a list of clinic hours and locations, visit SolanoCounty.com or click here.