World AIDS Day

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World AIDS Day
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Source: Public Health Department

In observance of World AIDS Day on December 1, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is encouraging community members to get tested for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year’s theme is “Know Your Status”.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in seven people in the United States who have HIV don’t know that they are HIV positive. Some people who test positive for HIV were not aware of their risk or need for testing. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. People with the following risk factors should get tested more often:

  • Men who have sex with other men

  • Sex with an HIV-positive partner

  • More than one sex partner

  • Injection drug use

  • Exchanged sex for drugs or money

  • Diagnosed with or sought treatment for another sexually transmitted disease such as Gonorrhea, Syphilis and Chlamydia


In Santa Barbara County, the burden of HIV/AIDS cases remained steady in 2017.

  • There were 27 newly reported HIV infected cases of which 7% were simultaneously diagnosed with AIDS

  • 545 residents living with HIV/AIDS

  • 22% of newly diagnosed HIV cases were co-infected with an additional sexually transmitted disease

  • Age at diagnosis: 26% under 25, 26% 25-34, 15% 35-44 and 33% 45-59


HIV is a preventable disease. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an HIV prevention strategy in which antiretroviral drugs are used to protect HIV-negative people from HIV infection. PrEP has the potential to prevent HIV among individuals at very high risk for becoming infected with HIV, and provides individuals, clinicians, and HIV prevention workers with another option for HIV prevention. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), when taken consistently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at high risk by up to 92%.

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Flicka Dec 02, 2018 09:42 AM
World AIDS Day

When aids was raging I volunteered with Dalmatian Dreams', now Dream Foundation, Flower Power. On Saturdays we took bouquets of flowers to terminally ill people to let them know people in the community cared about them. I met many with Aids in their last stages. Heartbreaking. I always gave them a hug because at the time many people, even doctors, wouldn't touch them for the stupid fear of "catching" Aides.

yin yang Dec 01, 2018 09:40 PM
World AIDS Day

Multiple partners in 60+ years. One was a hemophiliac. That was 1980. When I started getting tested. Hetero, if you give a damn. Much love, more than several beloveds, several of which I'm still friends with, and a happy life later, I too am healthy. I'm glad you're safe, but don't be too smug about it. Thank you, Ryan White.

a-1571049093 Dec 01, 2018 07:42 PM
World AIDS Day

I think I'm safe, since I've had only the one sex partner in 25 years and that partner has been faithful as all get out. Lucky me. Oh. And no blood transfusions or drug use either. Happy life.

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