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Since HIV infection is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics. HIV prevention materials funded by CDC must be approved by local program review panels. However, some viewers may consider the materials controversial.


June 2016


National HIV Testing Day

June 27 is National HIV Testing Day, a day to get the facts, get tested, and get involved!

Around 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and one in eight people don’t know they have it. Nearly 45,000 people find out they have HIV every year.

HIV testing is the gateway to prevention and care.

  • People who test negative have more prevention tools available today than ever before.
  • People who test positive can take HIV medicines that can keep them healthy for many years and greatly reduce their chance of passing HIV to others. Learn more about living with HIV.

More than 90% of new HIV infections in the United States could be prevented by testing and diagnosing people living with HIV and making sure they receive early, ongoing treatment.

What Can You Do?

Get the Facts. Learn about HIV, and share this lifesaving information with your family, friends, and community. Tell them about the importance of making HIV testing a part of their regular health routine.

Get Tested. Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to help keep you and your partner healthy.

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 certain risk factors should get tested more often. Learn what those risk factors are and how often you should be tested.

To find a testing site near you:

  • visit ActAgainstAIDS,
  • text your ZIP code to KNOWIT (566948), or
  • call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636).
  • You can also use a home testing kit available in drugstores or online.

Get Involved. CDC offers many resources to help you raise awareness about HIV testing in your community. Doing It is a new national HIV testing and prevention campaign designed to motivate all adults to get tested for HIV and know their status.



Health Advisory: Meningitis in the Chicago Area

Meningitis in the Chicago Area
Important Information for Polk County Residents

Friday, June 3, 2016
The Chicago Department of Public Health is increasing Meningitis awareness efforts due to new cases of Meningitis (Invasive meningococcal disease) among men who have sex with men (MSM) that link to a previous outbreak in the Chicago area. To date, there are no related cases in Iowa. “Meningitis is a serious illness that can be spread through close, casual contact simply through kissing, sharing a drink or cigarette, or through sexual activity,” said Rick Kozin, Director of the Polk County Health Department. “Vaccination is a safe and effective way to protect yourself against Meningitis and reduce the risk of becoming infected.”

Chicago offers events and festivities of interest to men who have sex with men that draw many visitors to the Chicago area. The Polk County Health Department recommends that individuals who are in close contact and/or sexually active with MSM in the Chicago area receive vaccination. The vaccine is available at most doctor’s offices and clinics, some pharmacies, and the Polk County Health Department.

How is Invasive meningococcal disease spread?

Invasive meningococcal disease is spread person-to-person through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions through activities such as kissing, sexual contact or sharing drinks or cigarettes, smoking devices or marijuana. These bacteria are not as contagious as the viruses that cause the common cold or flu. Partners, roommates or anyone in direct contact with saliva or spit (including sexual partners) of a person with the bacteria would be considered at increased risk.

What is Invasive meningococcal disease?

Invasive meningococcal disease is a rare but severe bacterial infection that can result in a number of serious illnesses including bloodstream infections and meningitis. Meningitis is when the bacteria enter the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. Invasive meningococcal disease can be extremely serious and even deadly.

What are the symptoms?

Signs and symptoms may include fever, headache, and a stiff neck. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and an altered mental state (confusion). The onset is of symptoms is usually abrupt and can progress rapidly to
serious illness. Normally, it takes about 2-10 days to see symptoms of Meningitis or other Invasive meningococcal disease after infection. Individuals experiencing these symptoms should contact their health care provider or seek medical help immediately. Be certain to inform the health care provider, if you have been in the Chicago area where there have been cases of bacterial Meningitis.

For more information about Bacterial Meningitis:
 Call the Polk County Health Department, Communicable Disease Team at (515) 286-3890
For more information about IMD in the Chicago area:
To contact the Polk County Health Department about vaccination, call (515) 286-3798.


Pride Fest 2016

(Des Moines, Iowa) The Project of Primary Health Care & Project HIM will be at 2016 Capital City Pride Festival this coming weekend, June 11th and 12th. This year’s activities will be a bit more wholesome than the previous years (lube wrestling, anyone?).

On Saturday, test your luck and be the last person standing in our “Pie On The Face” game. Be “selfie” ready because photos will be taken and posted on social media. ;P

On Sunday, try your luck in the Duck Pond by answering an HIV/STI trivia question correctly, for a chance to win awesome prizes!


Prizes include: dog tags, t-shirts, gift cards, and many more!

And as always, we are providing free and confidential HIV test, as well as Syphilis screening. We hope to see you there!