National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, April 10
Health District encourages testing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 10, 2014
LAS VEGAS – Thursday, April 10 is the inaugural National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day to provide information about HIV infection and the importance of testing. The Southern Nevada Health District encourages everyone to learn about his or her HIV status. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 1,000 people between the ages of 13 and 24 become infected with HIV each month. The health district’s Sexual Health Clinic offers testing and treatment services. For additional information and testing locations in the community, contact the health district’s Sexual Health Clinic, (702) 759-0702 or visit www.SNHD.info.
Young people between the ages of 13 and 24 account for about 26 percent of new HIV infections in the United States each year; 60 percent of whom do not know they are infected with HIV and could unknowingly infect their partners.
The CDC encourages parents, healthcare providers, and peers to provide age-appropriate HIV prevention education that includes information about risks of infection as well as skills and tools to help young people delay sexual activity or negotiate safer sexual practices with their partners.
In Southern Nevada and across the country, young gay men, bisexual men and other men who have sex with men account for the majority of new infections among people between the ages of 13 and 24. Black/African-American and Hispanic gay or bisexual men are more impacted by HIV infection.
Although many risk factors are similar between young people and adults, youth face additional risks that include not knowing how HIV is transmitted, having sex with older partners who are more likely to be HIV positive – this puts young gay or bisexual men at an even greater risk for HIV infection. In addition, not using condoms consistently, using alcohol or drugs with sex or having multiple sexual partners are also risk factors facing young people. The CDC recommends that young people aged 13-24 who are at a high risk of HIV infection should be tested for HIV at least once as part of their routine health care.
Early diagnosis is critical for people who are HIV positive so they can benefit from treatment. It is estimated that nearly 40 percent of people with HIV are not diagnosed until they have developed AIDS, which can occur 10 years after infection. Additional recommendations from the CDC include annual testing for individuals who engage in high-risk sexual behavior or use intravenous drugs. Pregnant women should be tested during the early months of their pregnancy to help eliminate transmission of HIV to their infants.
The Sexual Health Clinic is located at 400 Shadow Lane, Suite 106. Services include confidential testing, counseling, case management and referrals. The health district offers several HIV test options, some with same-day results. In addition, testing is available at several locations throughout the community.
In addition to testing at the Sexual Health Clinic, HIV/ STD screenings are available at the following locations:
Monday – Friday
10:30a-12:30/1:30p – 5p
Free HIV/STD screening
Gay & Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada, (702) 733-9800
401 S. Maryland Parkway
Noon – 5p
Free HIV/STD screening
Richard Steele Boxing Facility, (702) 638-1308
2475 West Cheyenne Ave., #120
9a – 5p
Free HIV/hepatitis B&C screening
Community Counseling Center, (702) 369-8700
714 E. Sahara Ave.
The health district encourages everyone in the community to learn their HIV status. Currently, there are more than 6,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Southern Nevada.
The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info.