Could You Be At Risk for HIV?

Could You Be At Risk for HIV?

 

Many people may not think they need an HIV test because they don’t believe they are at risk. They may think HIV affects only gay men or drug users, but the truth is anyone who is sexually active is at risk for HIV.

 

HIV is transmitted via bodily fluids, including blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids and breast milk. The Centers for Disease Control recommends those between 13 and 64 years old are tested as part of routine health care even if they don’t think they are at risk.

Regular HIV testing is critical because about 1 in 5 people living with HIV is unaware of their infection. That means you could be engaging in behavior with someone who doesn’t even realize he or she is infected with HIV.

Some questions to consider from AIDS.gov:

  • Have you had sex with someone who is HIV-positive or a person whose HIV status you didn’t know since your last HIV test?
  • Have you injected drugs and shared equipment (such as needles or syringes) with others?
  • Have you exchanged sex for food, shelter, drugs or money?
  • Have you been diagnosed with, or sought treatment for a sexually transmitted disease, like syphilis?
  • Have you been diagnosed with or sought treatment for hepatitis or tuberculosis (TB)?
  • Have you been sexually assaulted?
  • Have you had sex with anyone engaging in risky behavior such as having vaginal or anal sex without a condom or sharing injection drug equipment with someone who has HIV?

If you answered “yes” to even one of those questions, you could be at risk for HIV. Make an annual HIV test part of your regular health care routine. The best way bring an end to AIDS is through HIV testing and to stop the spread of the disease. By simply getting tested, you can help in the fight against AIDS.

Palmetto Community Care provides free and confidential HIV testing at its office. simply stop by between 7:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Results are delivered within 20 minutes, and we have resources and help available for anyone testing HIV positive. Testing by appointment at Truesdale location. Contact us at 8434904229 (text) and 8032165108 (call or text) to book.

Jarmel Smith

PrEP and Prevention Program Manager

Read Bio

Jarmel joined the team in April 2017 to co-facilitate an intervention program called 3MV (Many Men Many Voices) for HIV-negative African-American men who sleep with men. Jarmel is also part of the Palmetto Community Care prevention team certified by the S.C. Department of Health & Environmental Control to complete HIV testing. p> “Having friends who have been diagnosed with HIV it is very important to me to be a part of the change,” he says. He’s using his role in HIV prevention to educate people in the community about HIV and other sexually transmitted infections with they hope they will use the information to protect themselves and others. Previously, Jarmel worked as a residential coordinator for people with disabilities. In his free time, he enjoyed Southern cooking and spending time with his family in Orangeburg. He also has two spoiled dogs, Omega and Cookie, who like to cuddle up with Jarmel and watch their favorite TV show, “The Golden Girls.”
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