Thursday, December 1, 2016

World AIDS Day: Raising Awareness, Decreasing Stigma

World AIDS Day is held on the first of December each year as an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for the people living with HIV, and to commemorate those that have died. World AIDS Day 1988 was the first ever global health day.

Did you know…
Stigma and discrimination continue to be a significant barrier for people to get tested for HIV or access treatment. Visit current anti-stigma campaign information at Act Against AIDS’ or the United Kingdom’s

HIV transmission is preventable. In addition to condoms and abstinence, Treatment As Prevention (TaSP) provides a valuable method to eliminate virus transmission. With consistent treatment, people living with HIV are able to significantly decrease the amount of virus in their system to the point where the virus is undetectable, and therefore unable to be transmitted to others. Additionally, medications are now available (known as PEP and PrEP) to decrease the risk of acquiring HIV from a known or potential exposure to the virus. For more information, visit the CDC HIV website at

With early diagnosis, support, and access and adherence to appropriate treatment, people living with HIV have the same life span compared to those living without the virus.

Denver was the fourth North American city to join an international initiative to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. Visit the Fast Track Cities Initiative website at for more information.

Syringe access programs are integral in reducing the risk of disease transmission, including HIV. Jefferson County Public Health began offering syringe access services in February 2016.  The Points West program is free, confidential, and offers injection supplies and equipment, as well as HIV and Hepatitis C testing. The program may be accessed Monday through Friday, from 8:00am to 5:00pm at the Lakewood clinic location. No appointment is necessary.

Jefferson County Public Health offers screening, diagnosis and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) at our Lakewood location. If you have ever had a sexually transmitted disease, you may be at risk for HIV infection. JCPH also offers confidential HIV counseling and testing. For more information or to make an appointment, call: (303) 239-7078.

For more information on HIV/AIDS in Jefferson County or to speak with the JCPH HIV Program Staff, please contact Erin Blau (303-239-7164; or Chris Hammond (303-239-7029;

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