In the United States, about 1.1 million people have HIV, and 1 in 7 of them don’t know it – subsequently, many people have HIV for years
before they get diagnosed. HIV testing and early diagnosis is vital, as we now have powerful tools to prevent HIV transmission and help people with HIV to stay healthy. In Sacramento County, there are 4,559 people who have been diagnosed and living with HIV have access to treatment and services to help maintain their health and live long productive lives.
The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care and those at high risk
get tested at least once a year or more.
To prevent the spread of HIV, the Sacramento County Public Health’s HIV/STD Prevention Program
provides residents with a variety of STD/HIV prevention and education services including:
- STD/HIV education and prevention information and condom distribution
- Chlamydia and gonorrhea screening
- HIV antibody testing and risk reduction counseling
- Linkage to HIV and STD treatment
- Community involvement through the Sacramento Workgroup to Improve Sexual Health and the HIV Health Services Planning Council
- Other STD/HIV outreach activities and social marketing campaigns
“Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to help keep you and your partner healthy, Sacramento County Public Health is working to raise awareness about the importance of HIV testing and early diagnosis of HIV,” said Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye.
What Can You Do?
- Get the facts. Learn about HIV, actions you can take to prevent getting or transmitting HIV, and share this information with your family, friends, and community.
- Get tested. The only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested. To find a testing site near you, use the Doing It testing locator, text your ZIP code to KNOWIT (566948), or call 1-800-CDC-INFO. You can also use a home testing kit, available in drugstores or online.
- Protect yourself and your partner. Today, we have powerful tools to prevent HIV and help people with HIV to stay healthy. If you have HIV, start treatment as soon as possible after you get a diagnosis. The most important thing you can do is take HIV medicine as prescribed by your doctor.
- HIV medicine lowers the amount of virus (viral load) in your body, and taking it every day can make your viral load undetectable. If you get and keep an undetectable viral load, you can stay healthy for many years, and you have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV through sex to an HIV-negative partner. To make sure you keep an undetectable viral load, take your medicine as prescribed, and see your provider regularly to monitor your health.
- Talk to your doctor about post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) if you think you have been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours
- Talk to your doctor about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) if you think you have a risk for exposure.