Monday, December 2, 2013

World AIDS Day December 1, 2013

World AIDS Day, December 1, 2013 serves as an important reminder to everyone that HIV/AIDS has not gone away. Since the beginning of the HIV and AIDS epidemic more than half a million people have died of AIDS in the U.S. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Surveillance Report) – that is equivalent to the entire population of Jefferson County. There are currently more than one million people living with HIV and AIDS in the U.S. and approximately one-fifth of these are unaware of their infection.

That means the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS is still very much present. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates approximately 56,000 Americans are infected with HIV each year. So, this December 1st, Put the Red Ribbon back on and join in the fight against HIV/AIDS.


Jefferson County Public Health offers screening, diagnosis and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) at our Arvada and Lakewood locations. If you have ever had a sexually transmitted disease, you may be at risk for HIV infection. JCPH also offers anonymous and confidential HIV counseling and testing. For more information or to make an appointment, please contact: 303-232-6301
Download the JCPH HIV Testing and Counseling brochure

JCPH HIV Testing and Counseling Program

Give the Gift of a Hunger-Free Holiday

Each year, the Action Center in Jefferson County distributes food boxes to struggling families during the holidays. Give the gift of hunger-free holiday by donating items in need to the Action Center or other food bank of your choice. Donating food can ease the strain on tight budgets for many families in Jefferson County.

The Action Center Urgent Food Needs List: Dried Mashed Potatoes, Yams, Turkey Gravy, Corn Bread (mix), Stuffing (mix), Pie Filling, Olives, Chicken Broth, Bread, Dessert items and other holiday extras. Canned food, peanut butter, tuna, a bag of rice, pasta or beans or any non-perishable food would also be greatly appreciated.

If you are interested in volunteering for Food Box distribution please call 303.237.7704 ext. 244. Visit the Action Center’s volunteer web page.

When you are grocery shopping this weekend please buy a few foods from the above list to donate. Together we can help give many families a Happy Holiday season.

Think Toy Safety

Picking the perfect toy for that special child in your life can be fun. Knowing that the toy is safe and won’t cause a tragic injury is priceless. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is an independent federal regulatory agency created to protect the public from unreasonable risks of injuries and deaths associated with some 15,000 types of consumer products, including toys. Choking on small parts, small balls and balloons remains a leading cause of toy-related deaths and injuries. Here are some tips to help you with your toy selection:
  • Think about toy safety when shopping for the holidays. Buy toys that are right for the child's age, interests and skill levels.
  • Look for labels to help you judge which toys might not be safe, especially for infants and children under age three. The law bans small parts in toys for children under three and requires an explicit, prominent warning label on toys with small parts for children between the ages of three and six. In addition, balls with a diameter smaller than 1.75 inches are banned for children under three years old. 

Eyes and Thoughts on the Road Please

Jefferson County Public Health reminds everyone to stay safe while driving this holiday season. That means, among other things, finding a designated driver if you plan on drinking any alcohol while out and about; using your seatbelt and having your children properly restrained in age-appropriate car seats or boosters; and, it means, not using your cell phone while driving. Here are some tips from the National Safety Council on cell-free driving.

Before you drive
  • Develop a habit of turning off your cell phone when you get in your vehicle, and turning it back on when you are done driving. If you can’t turn your phone off, put it on vibrate or silent mode. 
  • Put your cell phone in your trunk to avoid temptation.
  • Record a voicemail greeting telling callers it is not safe to make calls while driving, and you will return their call as soon as you are able.
  • If you spend a lot of time on the road, organize your route and schedule to allow time to make and return phone calls from the parking lot of one location before leaving to drive to the next one. This strategy has helped employees who drive frequently to maintain productivity and accessibility.
While you drive
  • Do not make or answer cell phone calls, even with hands-free devices. If you must make an emergency call, leave the road and park in a safe area.
  • Do not send or read text messages or email.
  • If you are driving with a passenger, allow them to operate the phone.
  • Let someone else drive so that you can freely make or receive calls.
For more information on safe driving and injury prevention in general, visit the Jefferson County Public Health website.

A Public Health Smart Holiday Season . . . Wash your Hands, Stay Home if You’re Sick!

It’s the time of year for parties, get-togethers and celebrations. It’s also flu season and a common time for the spread of disease and illness. Following basic public health practices during the holidays, such as washing hands, staying home if you’re sick and adhering to proper food handling and preparation techniques, can help you and your family from getting sick or from spreading illness to others.

Stay Home if You’re Sick (poster); Wash Your Hands (brochure) You have a Role in Food Safety (handout) JCPH Flu shots (web page) Stop the spread of germs (web page)

Wash, Wash, Wash and Wash again! December 1-7, 2013 is National Handwashing Week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also offers an excellent Feature on Handwashing .