Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/November 27, 2018 - December 1st is World AIDS Day. This day provides an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in efforts to decrease the spread of HIV and raise awareness of actions that individuals can take to protect themselves and others.
Today, more information about HIV is available than ever before, including ways to protect yourselves and others. Unfortunately, despite these advancements, six Canadians are infected with HIV every day, with nearly a fourth of these being females. Individuals can help prevent the spread of this infection by taking the time to talk to their health care provider, knowing their HIV status, and using condoms.
"We are encouraging individuals to learn more about HIV and the ways they can protect themselves and others", says Dr. Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health for Hastings Prince Edward Public Health. "Having a conversation with your health care provider or visiting one of our sexual health clinics is a great place to start."
Sexual health clinics are offered throughout the region on a regular basis. Free condoms are always available at public health, and HIV testing is available at sexual health clinics. While testing may be available on a drop-in basis, individuals are encouraged to make an appointment if possible.
For individuals who may be at higher risk for HIV, medication is now available in Ontario that can reduce the risk of HIV transmission. This type of medication is called PrEP, which stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. This medication is used by HIV-negative people to help prevent HIV transmission. For people who take PrEP as prescribed and who have regular ongoing medical care, it is rare to get HIV through sex. Additional information about PrEP can be found online by visiting www.catie.ca, Canada's source for information about HIV.
For more information about HIV prevention or to find a sexual health clinic near you, visit Hastings Prince Edward Public Health online at www.hpepublichealth.ca or call 613-966-5500 ext 243.
Photo attached for media use: Michelle Lenssen, Public Health Nurse is seen holding a HIV rapid test.
Stephanie McFaul, Program Manager
613-966-5500 x 266
613-966-5500 x 266
Jennifer Ronan, Public Health Nurse
613-966-5500 x 621
About Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) operates one of 35 health units across Ontario. HPEPH provides dozens of programs and services, along with reliable health information, to a population of approximately 150,000 people in a 7,000 square km catchment area encompassing 17 municipalities. HPEPH's mission is to enable the people in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties to achieve and maintain optimal health through health protection and promotion, as well as disease and injury prevention. For more information, please visit www.hpepublichealth.ca. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.