HIV Spike in Humboldt County; Testing Is Important, Says Health and Human Services

Medical Feature

Note: Image used by H.p.frei via Wikimedia Commons

Press release from Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services:

Local health officials are reminding people it’s always important to get tested and know your HIV status in recognition of National HIV Testing Day on Wednesday, June 27. Humboldt County recently saw a spike in newly diagnosed cases, and the only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested.

HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is an autoimmune disorder that destroys cells that fight disease and infection. While HIV is treatable, it is most contagious in its early stages when someone may not know they have the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says an estimated 1.1 million people in the United States live with HIV and 1 in 7 of them are unaware they have it. CDC recommends everyone get tested for HIV at least once in their lifetime and those in high-risk groups get tested once a year or more.

Particularly high-risk groups include gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, along with people who have recently had a sexually transmitted infection, and those with multiple sex partners met through hook up apps or websites. People who inject drugs or have sex under the influence of alcohol or other drugs are also at increased risk.

Health officials advise getting tested and avoiding the following risk factors:

Multiple or anonymous sex partners, especially those met through hookup apps or sites
Unprotected sex
Sex or needle-sharing with at-risk partners.

In addition, Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) can decrease the chances of becoming infected by preventing HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout the body upon exposure. The CDC recommends people in high-risk groups talk to a medical provider to determine if they should use PrEP to lower the risk of transmission.

For more information or for free, confidential consultation and testing, contact the Public Health Clinic at 707-268-2108 or email freehivtest@co.humboldt.ca.us.

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6 comments

  • Just in case anyone can’t figure it out how “other men who have sex with men” don’t identify as gay or bisexual, they are straight male prostitutes who have male clientele. Yes, it’s a thing.

    • Men also infect women much more easily than the other way around. I would suspect the local opioid/drug culture has something to do with it. Just hypothesizing.

  • 80’s tell you everything. Heroine/ needles/ meth . Not rocket scientist on this one auto immune problems come out when they want to. Virus.

  • This is why I am single, I dont want to get hiv. Scary stuff. A lot of men and women think they are invincible. When this here proves that it is real. To many people want open relationships anymore, I am not surprised this is happening, especially in Humboldt.

  • I love how the first cause of HIV mentioned hasn’t changed in decades.Still throwing gay/bisexual men under the bus when our country has more people shooting up drugs than ever before. With rampant opiate addiction comes prostitution (male&female) to support costly habits,no mention of anyone who has paid for sex with a prostitute.
    Also, another more frightening cause of HIV infection is those who have had surgery recently. There have been multiple arrests of medical professionals as of late who not only stole the surgery patients fentanyl or other pain medications while or before they had surgery ,but also managed to contaminate the iv bag/lines with their own diseases. The cases that have made the news were linked to multiple hepatitis outbreaks from surgery that was tampered with by an addicted medical professional.
    But yeah let’s make sure there is no methadone in Humboldt, no legal prostitution, no legal heroin. After all, keeping these things illegal sure is putting a stop to all crime, right?

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