HIV & Sexually Transmitted Disease and Infections

Note:  This site contains prevention messages that deal with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI). The material presented here may be considered offensive to some people. However it is necessary to understand disease and how disease is transmitted.  Since STI are spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs presented here will address these topics. If you are not seeking such information kindly return to the homepage.

About HIV and STI Counseling

The focus and strategies of our HIV and Sexually Transmitted Disease and  Infection prevention efforts continue to change in response to shifting needs of our community. Simply stated, the goal of this program is to reduce the spread of HIV and STD/STI  in Cowley County. To accomplish this goal, the health department HIV/STI program contracts with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to implement front line HIV/STI prevention and risk reduction interventions (e.g., testing, counseling and education). These interventions target populations experiencing the highest number and rates of infection, and are designed to be age/gender appropriate, linguistically specific, and culturally sensitive.

Interventions are organized around:

1) helping individuals, groups, or social networks identify and change their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that contribute to the transmission of HIV and STI’s;

2) decreasing anxiety about sexually transmitted diseases and misconceptions about transmission and;

3) disseminating HIV / STI prevention and risk reduction information in a manner that is personally meaningful and facilitates the reduction of HIV/STI transmission.

The KDHE oversees the activities and evaluates the effectiveness of each HIV prevention contractors in the State of Kansas.

The primary goal of our program is to provide HIV/STI prevention counseling, testing, referral, and partner notification services for any Kansan who may be STI or  HIV-infected and/or engaging in behaviors that cause them to be at risk for contracting STI’s or HIV. In the State of Kansas, the law requires the availability of anonymous (no name/personal identifiers) testing throughout the state. Following this charge, KDHE has made available anonymous testing at counseling and testing sites that send specimens to the State Lab.

Should you get tested for HIV?

The following are behaviors that increase your chances of getting HIV. If you answer yes to any of them, you should definitely get an HIV test. If you continue with any of these behaviors, you should be tested every year. Talk to a health care provider about an HIV testing schedule that is right for you.

  • Have you injected drugs or steroids or shared equipment (such as needles, syringes, works) with others?
  • Have you had unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with multiple partners, or anonymous partners?
  • Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?
  • Have you been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis, tuberculosis (TB), or a sexually transmitted infection (STI), like syphilis?
  • Have you had unprotected sex with someone who could answer yes to any of the above questions?

If you have had sex with someone whose history of sex partners and/or drug use is unknown to you or if you or your partner has had many sex partners, then you have more of a chance of being infected with HIV. Both you and your new partner should get tested for HIV, and learn the results, before having sex for the first time.

For women who plan to become pregnant, testing is even more important. If a woman is infected with HIV, medical care and certain drugs given during pregnancy can lower the chance of passing HIV to her baby. All women who are pregnant should be tested during each pregnancy.

HIV/AIDS Fact Sheets

STI/STD Fact Sheets

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