If you believe you were exposed to HIV within the last 72 hours, you need support to assess your situation and make decisions about time-sensitive medical interventions. Please contact Frank as soon as possible, by calling 303-444-6121, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HIV stands for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and can cause AIDS.
AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and is a medical diagnosis that is given to a person living with HIV who meets specific criterion.
Nationally and statewide, public health epidemiological data and HIV-related literature in the past 10 years support that there is an ongoing resurgence of HIV infection among men who have sex with men (MSM). Public health specialists, researchers, and community organizers agree that the need for sustained prevention efforts for MSM is critical in addressing the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the U.S.
In Colorado there are more than 8,000 MSM living with HIV and AIDS. It is estimated that an additional 2,000+ MSM in Colorado are HIV-positive and not aware of their status.
Knowing your status is the first step
Getting tested and knowing your status is the first step in preventing the further transmission of HIV. Additionally, knowing even the most basic information about HIV can help you better understand how to protect yourself and your sexual partners from HIV transmission.
- HIV affects and weakens a person’s immune system.
- HIV only can be transmitted by blood, semen, vaginal fluid and breast milk that contains the virus. No other body fluids can transmit HIV.
- HIV is transmitted when the virus, transported by one of these infected fluids, enters the bloodstream.
- HIV is commonly transmitted through anal or vaginal sex without a condom.
- HIV is also commonly transmitted by sharing needles and/or works in intravenous drug use situations with a person living with HIV.
- There is no vaccine or cure for HIV.
- There are medications and treatment available that can help a person living with HIV maintain one’s health.
- The only way to know one’s HIV status is to get tested for HIV.
- Ask your partner(s) their HIV status.
- Get tested with your sexual partner(s).
- Check your and your partner(s) mouth, penis, vagina, and/or rectum for cuts and sores.
- Use a condom or dental dam for oral sex.
- Use a condom and water- or silicone-based lubrication for anal or vaginal sex.
- Periodically check penile condom(s) for fit and tears.
- Ask your partner not to ejaculate in your mouth, anus, or vagina.
- Access Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) as HIV prevention.
- Access Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), a four week course of antiretroviral medication, if you have a high-risk or known exposure to HIV.
Atlas is committed to providing ongoing information, conversation, events, and services to help prevent the spread and stigma of HIV.
You are always welcome to call BCAP and Atlas at (303) 444-6121 for more information and support.