World Aids Day 2017: marking 29 years of awareness

Updated: Dec. 1, 2017 at 4:34 AM CST
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JACKSON COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - December 1, 2017 marks the 29th year World Aids Day has been recognized.

It was established by the Ministries of Health from around the world as an effort to initiate social tolerance, greater awareness, and the reduction of the stigma of the disease.

According to a release from the Jackson County Health Department, out of every 10 people who have HIV, six are unaware. And that's something that health officials want to combat.

As people around the world observe Aids Day 2017, health experts ask that you know your HIV status by getting tested. CLICK HERE to find an HIV testing location near you.

The Jackson County Health Department is also working with healthcare providers across southern Illinois to expand the availability of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) services. The daily pill reduces the chance of HIV transmission.

"We are working hard to get to zero--no new HIV infections", said Paula Clark, HIV Program Division Director. "If you have been infected with HIV we have the HIV Care Connect program to help you… and now if you are at risk for HIV we have expanded ways, including PrEP, to help you reduce your chances of becoming infected."

Protect yourself:

  • Get yourself tested and encourage your friends and family to get tested
  • Know your sex partner's history
  • Practice safer sex every time
  • Talk to your kids about safer choices
  • Have condoms available for yourself, friends and family

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