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Jefferson County Health Department
HIV Program
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Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
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HIV Program
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Health Bulletins

What is HIV?

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that causes AIDS. When HIV gets into a person's body, the person is said to have HIV disease, or HIV. People infected with HIV may look healthy. Many with HIV look and feel well for years, and a person with HIV may not even know he has it. Thus, and HIV infected person can infect others without knowing it.


What is AIDS?

Over time, HIV damages the immune system. A damaged immune system cannot protect the body from getting sick. When this happens, the person is said to have AIDS (Aquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome).

Currently, there is no cure for HIV or AIDS.

How do people get HIV?

HIV lives in the blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breastmilk of a person infected with HIV. The virus can be passed to others through any of these body fluids.

For HIV to pass from one person to another, the body fluids of and infected person must get inside the body of another person.

HIV can be passed:
-- during sex,
-- by sharing needles,
-- from blood-to-blood contact,
-- from woman to her fetus in the womb, or to a baby during birth or in breastmilk.


HIV is not spread by...

Current research shows that HIV is not spread through the air or through nonsexual, everyday activities, such as:

-- sitting next to someone at work, at school, on a bus, or elsewhere,

-- shaking hands, touching, hugging, or from a social kiss,

-- eating in a restaruant or cafeteria,

-- sharing food, plates, cups, or utensils,

-- using a rest rooms, water cooler, or telephones,

-- swimming in a pool or using a hot tub,

-- donating blood,

-- being bitten by mosquitoes or any other insects.

Jefferson County Health Department offers a comprehensive education and abstinence based HIV prevention and testing program. Free anonymous on-site testing is offered, including pre and post test counseling. Orasure a non-invasive test, only requires that a client hold a swab in the mouth for several minutes. We have brochures and pamplets available for distribution, along with safe sex materials. There is no fee for the HIV test.

To find out if you are at risk, how to reduce your risk, or to schedule a test, call Jefferson County Health Department at (618)244-7134 and ask for Jill.

For more information, click the link below.

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