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Dave Fotsch
Public Information Officer
Central District Health Department
208-327-8639

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June 24, 2010

Health District Releases HIV/AIDS Report

Sunday June 27th is National HIV Testing Day, a day established to reinforce the importance of knowing one’s status in the interest of preventing the spread of the disease. The Central District Health Department (CDHD) is taking this opportunity to issue a report on the impact and trends of HIV/AIDS in Health District 4, which includes Ada, Elmore, Boise and Valley counties. Key findings include:

  • 85% of the HIV population is male
  • The average age at diagnosis is 38
  • 80% are white
  • More foreign born individuals are arriving with HIV acquired in their home countries
  • Risk factors for infection include substance abuse and unprotected sex with online anonymous partners

The full text of the report is available on the CDHD website.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in five people living with HIV today are unaware that they’re HIV-positive. The CDC recommends that people from age 13 through age 64 include an HIV test in their annual physical exams.

HIV is passed on through contact with the blood, semen, vaginal fluids or breast milk of an infected person. Most cases are acquired by having unprotected sex with an infected partner. Sharing syringes and needles can also expose a person to blood infected with HIV. Infected women can pass the virus to their babies during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.

Abstinence or a long-term, monogamous sexual relationship with an HIV negative partner are the two best ways to prevent exposure to HIV. Using condoms during any sexual act and not sharing syringes and needles also offer some protection. People may be infected with HIV and not know it. HIV infection does not exhibit visible signs and it may take years to develop into AIDS. Only an HIV test can confirm that a person is not infected.

Early detection reduces the risk a patient may unknowingly spread HIV.

For information on HIV testing and counseling, visit www.aids.gov.

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