HIV / AIDS
HIV is a virus spread through certain body fluids that attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells, often called T cells. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease. Opportunistic infections or cancers take advantage of a very weak immune system and signal that the person has AIDS.
HIV can only be spread when body fluids such as blood, semen or vaginal fluids from an infected person enter another person’s body. High risk behavior that should be avoided includes:
- Sharing injection needles
- Unprotected intercourse or oral sex
You can limit your exposure by:
- Practicing monogamy or abstinence. Monogamy between uninfected sexual partners or abstinence are the safest practices.
- Knowing who your partner is and who your partner has been in an intimate relationship with recently. Remember, your partner may be infected and not know!
- Using condoms with all partners. Latex condoms offer the greatest protection.
- Being careful when you drink. Alcohol use is related to HIV infection. If you are going to drink, be aware that your inhibitions may be lower. Practice safe sex with known partners only.
- Getting tested. It can take several months for the HIV infection to produce a positive test result. You should have two negative tests done six months apart in a monogamous relationship (with the same partner) before stopping the use of a condom.
- Avoiding any partners who have had a sexually transmitted disease. Other sexually transmitted diseases put a person at increased risk for HIV infection.
- Avoiding the exchange of body fluids. Intimacy does not have to involve sexual intercourse or other high-risk sexual activity. Consider alternatives with your partner.
How do I enroll?
To enroll, obtain additional information or remove your name from our HIV / AIDS management program, please contact the customer service phone number on the back of your identification card.
Community Programs & Resources
If you or you a loved one have questions about HIV/AIDs or need additional support, we encourage you to enroll in our HIV/AIDs Case Management program. Click below to learn more and find services available to you.