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Category: News


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!


5 Reasons Why You & Your Partner Should Get Tested Together


Most guys are pretty routine with their sexual health testing, but what happens to that routine when you’ve got a steady partner? Or a new partner? Instead of letting your testing behavior slump, why not consider Testing Together?

Here are four reasons you might want to consider Testing Together:

  1. QUICK, (MOSTLY) PAINLESS, & FREE – In about the time it would take the two of you to Netflix and Chill you and your partner can both get tested for HIV, Syphilis, Chlamydia, and Gonorrhea. Your HIV test results are ready in as little as 20 minutes, with results for other STD screenings available in as little as 3-5 business days. Also, did we mention the tests are free of charge?
  2. STATUS UPDATE –Are you in a new relationship or have you added a new sexual partner into your rotation? Congrats! But unless you’ve both been tested during the last 24 hours, or have been abstinent since your last checkup, it’s a good idea to suggest mutual HIV/STI testing when starting a brand new relationship. Here at The Project, we use the Determine HIV test, which not only detects Antibodies but also detects Antigens, which could mean earlier detection for you and your partners. With this technology, you could both know your HIV status in as little as three weeks from your last unprotected sexual encounter or possible exposure to HIV. This way you’ll both have your most up-to-date HIV status – even if neither of you have had the time to update your relationship status on Facebook.
  3. TESTING BRINGS PEOPLE CLOSER – No, really. Whether you’ve been together 2 weeks or 2 years, learning how to have those conversations about testing habits and sexual health with a partner can be difficult. When you come in to test together with bae (boyfriend, partner, or whatever you call each other – because you’re “not into labels”), we can help you breach the subject. Doing this sets a standard for communication that can last throughout your entire relationship.
  4. OTHER PEOPLE –Whether you’re newly monogamous, choose to have a more open arrangement or recently stepped out on your fella – it’s time to get tested. This goes for whether you went all the way with your new playmate(s) or not. The truth is most guys won’t experience the classic symptoms of an STI and sex isn’t the only way to be exposed to an STI. Bacterial STIs like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea can be passed between partners through something as simple as oral sex. Other STIs like Syphilis don’t even require intercourse; heavy petting is all it takes. This all means that you might be putting others at risk, and when you think about it like that, testing just makes sense.
  5. BECAUSE YOU’RE BOTH WORTH IT The bottom line: Relationships are hard, and finding those individuals you want to keep in your life can be even harder. When you finally do find them, you want to protect them and you’d hope that they would want to protect you too. Getting tested is a quick and easy way to provide that protection and says a lot about where you stand. When you Test Together, what you’re actually saying is “I’m worth it, and I think you’re worth it too”.
Valentines day Testing Together



Sign up & complete “Testing Together” with your partner during the week leading up to Valentines Day (February 8th -12th).

CLICK HERE to learn more.


Free HIV, STI Testing Now Available In Ames

Primary Health Care’s Story County clinic in Ames now offers free and confidential rapid HIV and STI screening.

Get Tested For:

TestingFAQHIV – 1 Minute INSTI HIV tests.

Syphilis –  blood draw (results in as little as 5 business days.)

Chlamydia –  urine test, throat and/or rectal swab (depending on the type of sex). results in as little as 5 business days.

Gonorrhea – urine test, throat and/or rectal swab (depending on the type of sex). results in as little as 5 business days.

Ames Testing

33510 Lincoln Way Ames, Iowa 50014 | Phone: (515) 232-0628 | Clinic Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

You do not need to be a patient of Primary Health Care.

The test is FREE.

No insurance information required!

Walk-ins are welcomed between 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday – Friday.

No appointments needed!


Here’s What’s Up: Week of October 5th

Happy Monday and hello October!

As the scent of pumpkin spice everything fills the air, we are sad to say goodbye to our Prevention Specialist, Maggi. She is now at the Iowa Department of Public Health. That means that there is an opening here at Project HIM/The Project of Primary Health Care! The job hasn’t been posted yet, but be sure to check out for our latest job posting.

While we are looking for a new Prevention Specialist, Brandon, our CLEAR counselor will be filling in Maggi’s clinic hours at our University Avenue location. There shouldn’t be any changes with our hours, nor do we anticipate any interruption of services.

Primary Health Care – Des Moines (1200 University Avenue)

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Tuesday 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Friday 9:00 – 2:00 pm

Click here to schedule your appointment.

Primary Health Care – Ames Clinic (3510 Lincoln Way)

  • Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (HIV test only, no STI screening available at this time. No appointments needed.)


Live Out Loud 2015 Lineup

LOL2015-Lineup-Timeline We are excited to announce the entertainment lineup for this year’s Live Out Loud.

Scheduled to perform are:

Jupiter Phuckit Belle, Ballet Des Moines, Boylesque, Club B Fit, Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus, The Garden Show Cast, Rocky Horror Picture Show Cast, Tyona Diamond, and much more!

We are also pleased to announce that the Imperial Court of Iowa will be inaugural recipient of the David Vitiritto Community Engagement Award.

Please join The Project of Primary Health Care at Wooly’s (East Village) on Sunday, November 8th at 7:00 pm.

Tickets are only $15 in advance, and can be purchased at

Click here to visit the Live Out Loud 2015 Facebook event page.


Here’s What’s Up: Week of September 28th

It is the last week of September, it seemed like the month just flew by.

Last Saturday’s mobile testing event was a success.  We’ve provided 32 rapid HIV test.  We want to thank The Blazing Saddle, The Garden Nightclub, and other businesses in the East Village for their support.

Free HIV/STI Testing

This week’s testing clinic schedule is as follows:

Primary Health Care – Des Moines (1200 University Avenue)

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Tuesday 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Friday 9:00 – 2:00 pm

Primary Health Care – Ames Clinic (3510 Lincoln Way)

  • Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (HIV test only, no STI screening available at this time. No appointments needed.)

LOL – Live Out Loud 2015

Sunday, November 8 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. (Doors open @ 6:30)

 Wooly’s (504 E Locust St, East Village)

Enjoy live music and exclusive performances from Des Moines’ best entertainers.
Spend your Sunday evening with The Project and celebrate nearly 3 decades of the community coming together to improve the lives of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

Purchase your tickets today by filling out the form below. 


Here’s What’s Up: Week of September 21st

Happy Monday!  Project HIM and The Project of Primary Health Care is closed today for a team building retreat/outing.

Free HIV/STI Testing

Testing hours for Primary Health Care – Des Moines (1200 University Avenue)

  • Wednesday and Thursday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Tuesday 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Friday 9:00 – 2:00 pm

Mobile Testing in the East Village

092615-TestingAdTo make up for it, we will have a mobile testing event on Saturday, September 26th, starting at 9:00 pm.

We will be somewhere in the East Village around The Blazing Saddle (during the first couple of hours) and at The Garden Nightclub.

No appointment needed.  It is free and confidential.


Here’s What’s Up: Week of September 14th.

Back to your regularly scheduled blog post.  Here’s What’s Up took a break last week due to the Labor Day holiday, but we are back now!

It is the third week of September and it is Rosh Hashanah (or the Jewish New Year).  The day is said to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman.

We just a few reminders:

Free HIV/STI Testing

Testing hours for Primary Health Care – Des Moines (1200 University Avenue)

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Tuesday 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Friday 9:00 – 2:00 pm

We are testing at our Primary Health Care’s Ames clinic on Thursday from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.

As always, you can schedule your appointment at


Client Picnic at Union Park

It is The Project’s annual Client Picnic this Friday, September 18th, starting at 5:30 pm.  Bring your family and join the Project’s staff, volunteers, and clients for a fun evening full of games, prizes, and carousel rides.  Food will be provided.

Confirm your attendance by calling 515-248-1595.

Transportation can be provided. Just let us know when you confirm you RSVP.


Live Out Loud 2015

You can purchase now your tickets for Live Out Loud 2015!


Here’s What’s Up: Week of August 31st

Good morning and happy Monday to all of you.  It is the last day of August, can you believe it?

Free HIV/STI Testing

Testing hours for Primary Health Care – Des Moines (1200 University Avenue)

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Tuesday 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Friday 9:00 – 2:00 pm

As always, you can schedule your appointment at


The new CLEAR webpage is now available.  You should also start seeing more literature about this wonderful program this week.  Brochures and posters are being distributed to our community partners such as Polk County Health Department and the local bars.

Save The Date!


The Project of Primary Health Care’s annual benefit is November 8th at Wooly’s in Des Moines’ East Village.  The official line-up will be announced soon, as well as ticket information.

If you would like to be a sponsor, please contact Marissa at 515-248-1595.




Here’s What’s Up: Week of August 24th

It is Monday, and for many it’s the start of a new school year.  That also means that our Project HIM crew here at The Project of Primary Health Care will be embarking on another campus tour.  More details on this in the coming weeks.

We are excited to announce that we are working on providing HIV/STI testing at locations throughout the Des Moines metro, utilizing The Project’s van.  We’re still in the process of figuring out the logistics, but be sure to be on the look-out for our Mobile Testing Van (MTV) (Yup! That’s what we’re going to call it. I just decided.) sometime this fall.  Be sure to follow us on Twitter to get updates on our MTV’s location, testing time, and wait time.

In the meantime, our regular testing hours are as follows:

Testing hours for Primary Health Care – University Ave. clinic

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Tuesday 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Friday 9:00 – 2:00 pm

Testing hours for Primary Health Care – Ames clinic

  • Every 3rd Thursdays 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Reserve your spot on our online scheduler.  Select Primary Health Care – Ames for “Location”.

Schedule your free HIV/STI test here or call 515-248-1595.


Here’s What’s Up: Week of August 17th

Happy Monday from everyone here at Project HIM.  We’ve received a few questions concerning our recent post about the Determine™ HIV test.  We are happy to answer your questions submitted through our Facebook page, Twitter, or in the comment section.  Keep your questions coming.

Here’s what’s up for us this week.

Free HIV/STI Testing clinic.

Testing hours for Primary Health Care – University Ave. clinic

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Tuesday 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Friday 9:00 – 2:00 pm

Testing hours for Primary Health Care – Ames clinic 

  • Every 3rd Thursdays (August 20th) 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Reserve your spot on our online scheduler.  Select Primary Health Care – Ames for “Location”.

Schedule your free HIV/STI test here or call 515-248-1595.

Become a Community Health Educator.

Project HIM’s volunteer peer advocate program, the Street Team, is now the Community Health Educators. Under this new program, volunteers will gain valuable experience while helping in our mission to stop the spread of HIV in Iowa. We provide our volunteers with the education and training needed to serve at-risk population without shaming and free of stigma.

Community Health Educators will help promote a better understanding of HIV – in prevention, in treatment, and in linkage to care – that enriches the lives of the community they serve.

Check out our Volunteer page for ways you can be involved.


Let’s Focus On You!

Looking to make changes? CLEAR can help. CLEAR is a free counseling workshop for individuals living with HIV/AIDS, as well as their partners.

For more information, visit our CLEAR page or call Brandon at 515-248-1584.



Know Your Status Sooner

We now offer the Determine™ HIV test, the first rapid test that detects both HIV-1/2 antibodies and the HIV-1 p24 antigen earlier than 2nd and 3rd generation antibody-only tests.

HIV-1 p24 antigen can appear just 12-26 days after infection. HIV-1/2 antibodies first appear significantly later – 20 to 45 days after infection. It enables health care providers to diagnose HIV infection earlier allowing individuals to seek medical care sooner.

What else should you know?

  • It is CLIA waived for fingerstick whole blood.
  • Results in just 20 minutes, which means your appointment shouldn’t last more than 30 minutes.
  • It is reliable: Proved 99.9% overall clinical sensitivity for all sample types.


 Click here to schedule your appointment.


Here’s What’s Up: Week of August 10th

Happy Monday! The Iowa State Fair starts this Thursday. With plenty of out of towner’s visiting the fair, there are plenty of opportunities to connect. Make sure that your HIV/STI status is up to date.

Free HIV/STI Testing clinic.

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Tuesday 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Friday 9:00 – 2:00 pm

Schedule your free HIV/STI test here or call 515-248-1595.


Clinic VisitsNational Health Center Week is August 9th – 15th.

Join Primary Health Care in their campaign to raise awareness on the importance of health centers. The Why Health Centers Matter campaign will run the entire week on PHC’s Facebook page. It will feature fun facts, statistics, and testimonials that highlights the difference health centers, such as Primary Health Care, make in the lives of the people in the community they serve.

Be sure to LIKE Primary Health Care on Facebook and SHARE  their posts.


Periscope and SnapchatFollow Project HIM on social media!

Add @Project_HIM on Snapchat and Periscope to get exclusive content and live streaming from our events!




Here’s What’s Up: Week of August 3rd

I can’t believe it’s already August. Where did the summer go? I swear it was just Memorial Day a hot second ago. Next thing you know it’ll be Labor Day. But before then, here’s what’s up at Project HIM this week.



Our FREE HIV/STI Testing Clinic is back on its regular schedule. We offer Chlamydia/Gonorrhea, Syphilis, and HIV screening.

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday: 9 AM – 4 PM
  • Tuesday: 4 PM – 8 PM
  • Friday: 9 AM – 2 PM

CLICK HERE to schedule your appointment. You can also schedule an appointment for a PrEP consultation.


Live Out Loud

Members of the Live Out Loud (aka The Benefit) planning committee will meet this Wednesday at 5:30 PM at our 1200 University office.

You can still join the committee and help us plan this amazing event. If you are interested in joining the committee, or to learn more about the event, contact Callen Ubeda at 515-248-1591 or via email at

Live Out Loud is Sunday, November 8th at Wooly’s.


Red Hot Party

This Thursday, August 8th is The Project’s 23rd Annual Red Hot Party from 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM at the Iowa State Bar Association (map).

Sample food from area restaurants, drinks, and live music. Rekha Basu of the Des Moines Register and York Taenzer will be the night’s honorees. This annual celebration raises money for central Iowans living with HIV/AIDS.

Tickets are only $40 and can be purchased on eTapestry or at the venue on the day of the event.


Here’s What’s Up: Week of July 27th

Happy Monday! Here’s what’s up at Project HIM this week.

  • I was told that today is National Creme Brulee Day. Anyone knows who makes the best one in town?
  • Don’t forget that our testing clinic is closed this Tuesday, July 28th.
  • We updated our Appointment Scheduler to include “PrEP Consultation” as an option in the Testing Type. This is a 30 minute appointment that could include an HIV test. Also, all individual appointments are now scheduled for 30 minutes, even for “Full Screening”, which includes an HIV test, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis screening.
PrEP Consultation is now an option under Testing Type on the Project HIM appointment scheduler.

PrEP Consultation is now an option under Testing Type on the Project HIM appointment scheduler.

  • Speaking of PrEP, we are updating our PrEP page ( to provide you with the most up-to-date  information about this form of HIV prevention.
  • We are also making some updates on our one-one-one counseling program, CLEAR. This includes updated information on our website, a new brochure and marketing materials. CLEAR is open to people living with HIV, as well as the partners of people living with HIV; regardless of gender, sex, or sexual orientation. Visit the CLEAR page for more information or to sign up.

Have a great week!

Got more to add? Add your comments bellow.


Happy Pride Des Moines!

It is Pride week here in Des Moines. The rest of Project HIM/The Project of Primary Health Care staff are busy preparing for this weekend’s festivities. As we have done in the previous years, we are providing FREE HIV and STD screening both Saturday and Sunday. (Saturday 3 pm – 7 pm, Sunday 12 pm – 4pm)

Project HIM 2015 Pride T-shirtThis year, we are offering the One-Minute INSTI HIV test along with other STD screening; including Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis. We are once again partnering with Polk County Health Department to ensure that we can accommodate a higher number of people wanting to get tested.

Be sure to stop by our booth this weekend. Our Saturday booth activity is going Totally 80’s (because Belinda Carlisle) with glow-in-the-dark slap bracelets, and an interactive Polaroid Social Media Booth. Sunday’s booth activity will have your opportunity to win this year’s Project HIM Pride t-shirt and other amazing swag,* all while learning about PrEP.

Find us at Pride, just look for the red tent next to an RV and Polk Co. Health Dept.’s trailer (the one that looks like a food truck).

* Project HIM sunglasses, clips, etc. (subject to availability)

One Minute HIV Test To Be Offered at Pride

The Project of Primary Health Care and Polk County Health Department will offer 1 minute HIV test at this year’s Capital City Pride in Des Moines, on June 13th and 14th.

The Project (formerly AIDS Project of Central Iowa) has been providing free and confidential rapid HIV testing at PrideFest since 2007.

During the festivities, the public can get a free 1 Minute INSTI HIV tests, along with screenings for Syphilis, Chlamydia, and Gonorrhea. Results for other STD screenings can take up to 5 business days.

The INSTI test is very well suited to events of this kind because results are available immediately. Other rapid HIV tests can require 15 to 40 minutes to run, which can deter people from testing or from returning for their results.

In addition to being the fastest test in the world, INSTI is over 99% accurate and the most sensitive rapid antibody test currently on the point of care market—meaning it can detect HIV earlier than all other tests of its kind, according to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data.

It is estimated that over 1.1 million people are HIV positive in America and 1 in 6 don’t know they are infected. Individuals on treatment can reduce their risk of spreading the virus by as much as 96%.

The first step is taking the test, and the CDC recommends routine HIV screening for all Americans aged 15 to 65 – not just those deemed to be “at risk.”

To get your free INSTITM test at PrideFest 2015, stop by The Project’s booth either on Saturday or Sunday of Pride. PrideFest 2015 will be held at the historic East Village on June 13th – 14th. Free testing is available on Saturday from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM, and Sunday from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM.


CDC’s 2013 HIV Surveillance Report Now Available Online

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) annual HIV Surveillance Report titled Diagnoses of HIV Infection in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2013, is now available online. The report summarizes information about diagnosed HIV infection from 2009 to 2013 representative of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and six U.S. dependent areas. Overall, HIV diagnosis rates remain stable yet disparities persist among some groups.

The report shows that the annual rate of diagnosis in the United States remained stable with 15.0 per 100,000 in 2013 compared to 15.3 per 100,000 in 2009.

Despite this, disparities persist—and in some cases—rates have increased among certain groups. As evidenced by this report and other previously released data, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM); young adults; and racial and ethnic minorities continue to bear the disproportionate burden of HIV, as well as individuals living in the South:

  • In 2013, MSM (including men with infection attributed to male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use) accounted for 68 percent of all new HIV diagnoses—a 10 percent increase from 2009
  • Young adults aged 25-29 years had the highest diagnosis rate (36.3 per 100,000) followed by persons aged 20-24 years (35.3 per 100,000)
  • African Americans accounted for the highest rate of HIV diagnoses, 55.9 per 100,000 compared to all other racial and ethnic groups
  • And regionally, rates per 100,000 were the highest in the South (20.5) compared to the Northeast (15.9), the West (10.8) and the Midwest (9.0)

At the end of 2012, there was an estimated 914,826 persons in the United States living with diagnosed HIV infection.

For individuals and groups at higher risk for HIV infection, testing is the critical first step towards accessing effective care and prevention services. But testing is only the beginning—once diagnosed, people need medical care and antiretroviral treatment so they can live longer and healthier lives and greatly reduce the chances of passing the virus on to others.

Surveillance is the cornerstone to understanding the burden of disease. CDC monitors our nation’s progress in reducing HIV so that resources are targeted in the right populations and are used to guide public health action at every level—national, state and local.

HIV surveillance data are used by CDC’s public health partners, other federal agencies, health departments, nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and the general public to help monitor and focus primary prevention efforts, testing initiatives, awareness efforts of serostatus among persons living with HIV; and to plan services, allocate resources, develop policy, and monitor trends in HIV infection.

The 2013 HIV Surveillance Report is also available on the CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention’s website.


YOUR OPINION MATTERS: Be a part of our Advisory Panel

As a member of the Project HIM Advisory Panel, you’ll have an important opportunity to express yourself. You’ll receive regular surveys and/or be ask to attend a focus group meeting about. Simply tell us what you like, what you don’t like, what’s working, and what doesn’t.

  • Are we not doing something you think we should do?
  • Like what you see on our social media sites, or events we sponsor?
  • Want to see something different or has great ideas on how we can improve our service?

Curious about how it works?

February is our first focus group meeting for current and potential members.

  • Try it out and decide if it’s something you’d like to do!
  • We will be reviewing our latest campaign for PrEP.
  • Tell us what date/time works for you on this DOODLE.

Proposed dates: Confirmed date: February 3rd, 5th, 10th, & 12th | 5:15pm or 6:30pm. |1200 University Ave. Des Moines | Refreshments will be served.

Confident that it’s for you?

Complete the Advisory Panel information sheet. Join us and let your voice be heard!


Project HIM Returns To Ames


Primary Health Care Ames clinic – 3510 Lincoln Way

Every month starting January 15, 2015. (And every 3rd Thursday thereafter).

From 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.

Schedule an appointment here!

Project HIM will provide confidential and free HIV and STD screening at Primary Health Care’s new clinic in Ames, Iowa. Starting January 15th, 2015, (and every 3rd Thursday thereafter), you may request a free screening for the following sexually transmitted diseases/infections: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, and HIV. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about HIV testing.

The free testing clinic will be available from 10am – 2pm, And the clinic is located at 3510 Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa 50014. Walk-ins are welcomed, but to guarantee a spot and minimal wait time, you may schedule your visit on our calendar. Just select “Primary Health Care – Ames” for the location.

Don’t Know What Test To Get? – Check out the chart below:

Testing Guide_Web

Are you ready to schedule your appointment?

Click here to be directed to our online calendar.


World AIDS Day 2014

Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-Free Generation

  • Read the Presidential Proclamation recognizing World AIDS Day 2014.
  • Don’t forget to check out EVENTS Page for World AIDS Day related activities and events, in or around Central Iowa.
  • Watch this video message for World AIDS Day 2014


November Giveaway!

You Could Win A $50.00 Gift Card!

Get Tested & Win! Starting November 1st, if you get your HIV/STD screening with Project HIM (during our regular testing clinic hours, or at any of our outreach testing events) you’ll be entered into a monthly drawing for a $50 gift card to the any of the following businesses:

  • RAYGUN Shirts
  • Liberty Gifts
  • Romantix
  • Jordan Creek Mall
  • Merle Hay Mall
  • Valley West Mall

Schedule Your Appointment Now! 


To enter: get tested with Project HIM either at our 1200 University Ave. Des Moines location, or at any of our outreach testing events.
RULES: Only 1 (one) entry per person per 90 (ninety) days. 1 (one) winner each month. Winner will be determined through a random drawing by a Project HIM staff member. Winner will be notified by email or phone call, whichever contact information is provided. Winner has 30 (thirty) days to collect his/her prize, in person. After 30 days, the winner forfeits his/her prize. The Project of Primary Health Care/Project HIM are not responsible for lost of stolen gift card. Gift card can not be substituted for cash. Non-transferable. Employees of The Project of Primary Health Care are not eligible to win. Void where prohibited.

Don’t Know What Test To Get? A Testing Guide For Gay Men Everyone

Never Been Tested? What To Expect & Other Testing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).


Project HIM To Have Saturday HIV & STD Testing Hours



Project HIM To Offer Free HIV & STD Testing on the 1st Saturday of Each Month


September 2, 2014. Des Moines – Project HIM (Healthy Iowa Men) will extend their free HIV/STD testing clinic hours to include the first Saturdays of each month. Starting in September, the testing clinic will be more accessible to those who are not able to come during their regular clinic hours, or at their many outreach testing events throughout the community.


Clients can take advantage of the free HIV testing, as well as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea screenings. Syphilis tests will be provided on most of the first Saturdays, but is regularly offered on weekdays. No appointments necessary during the First Saturday Testing Clinics, but client’s are encouraged to book an appointment to guarantee a spot. Tests will be offered from 10am – 2pm.


Project HIM’s regular HIV/STD Testing Clinic Hours are as follows:


Mondays: 9am – 4pm

Tuesdays: 4pm – 8pm

Wednesdays: 9am – 4pm

Thursdays: 4pm -8pm

Fridays: 9am – 2pm

Any client who gets tested on September 6th will be entered into a drawing for a $50 HyVee Gift Card. 


To schedule an appointment, visit, or call 515-248-1595.



(Re) Introducing PrEP

By now, you should have heard of PrEP (Pre Exposure Prophylaxis). It’s the drug that significantly reduces someone’s risk of HIV. But like most people, you probably have a lot of questions about it.


Back when we had the “Ask Our Experts” section, Dr. Joe responded to a general inquiry about the drug. See “Ask Our Expert: A Pill To Prevent Getting HIV?” At the time, there were still a lot of debate surrounding it, some ethical, some practical. There are more information about the drug available today.


A few weeks ago,  the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a drug treatment that will help in the preventing HIV infection in uninfected people. We recently spoke to a representative from Gilead Science Inc., maker of Truvada, to fill us in on what we need to know about PrEP, including how effective it is and how it should be used.


Who should be on PrEP?

Truvada, which is the name of the drug, is approved for healthy, uninfected people who are at high risk of contracting HIV through sex. These include sex workers and people with partners who are HIV-positive or engage in high-risk behaviors. What are high risk-behaviors?




See if PrEP is right for you! Take the PrEP Quiz here!


How effective is the drug in preventing HIV?

In one study, healthy gay and bisexual men who took Truvada daily and were counseled about safe sex practices lowered their risk of becoming infected by up to 42%. In another study involving heterosexual couples in which one partner was HIV-positive, the uninfected partner had a 75% lower risk of contracting HIV if they took Truvada.


Does Truvada cure AIDS?

No. The drug can treat people who are infected with HIV by lowering the amount of virus in their bodies and slowing down the progression of the disease. In healthy, uninfected people, the drug can thwart HIV’s ability to take hold in healthy cells and start an infection, by blocking the activity of an enzyme that the virus needs to replicate.


Here’s how I see it: Much like your car has seat belts, air bags, anti-lock breaks, etc.- that all together reduces your fatality risk from car accidents. PrEP is an additional tool, along with routine testing, using condoms, conversations with your partner(s) etc., in preventing HIV infection. 



More Questions?

PrEP Questions

We are working on putting together a guide to PrEP, similar to our Gay Man’s Guide To HIV & STD Testing.  Be sure to check back within the next few weeks.


In the meantime, if you have any questions about PrEP, including referrals to providers and drug assistance programs, feel free to contact us, or ask about it during your routine HIV & STD screening.


Schedule your appointment online. Use our test scheduler on our website. 



UPDATE: National Gay Blood Drive in Des Moines

national-gay-blood-driveDes Moines Participates in National Gay Blood Drive


The Des Moines drive is happening Friday, July 11th from 6:30 AM until 1:30 PM at LifeServe Blood Center at 431 E. Locust St. Ally donors are encouraged to schedule their donation by visiting The local National Gay Blood Drive leader is Greg Gross, Prevention Services Manager at The Project of Primary Health Care, and can be reached at or 515-248-1585 (office) and 515-344-5048 (cell).


Help us shed a nationwide light on this ban and get blood to those who need it. Watch the National Gay Blood Drive announcement video for more information, and visit to get involved.


About The National Gay Blood Drive

There is a constant need for blood and donors are essential in maintaining an adequate supply. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) bans gay and bisexual men from donating blood. On July 11, a nationwide blood drive will take place to bring attention to the ban and help save lives. Gay and bisexual men will show their willingness to contribute by bringing allies to donate in their place. This grassroots effort to create change cannot happen without you.


Sign the petition here!

See photos from the event on our Facebook page


National Gay Blood Drive



There is a constant need for blood & donors are essential in replenishing the supply. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) bans gay & bisexual men from donating blood. On July 11th, a nationwide blood drive will take place to bring attention to the ban & help save lives. Gay & bisexual men will show their willingness to contribute by bringing allies to donate in their place. This grassroots effort to create change cannot happen without YOU.


Mark your calendars to join us and show your support of lifting the ban! On July 1st, a sign-up sheet will be available to reserve a donation time slot for your ally to donate.


Click here for more information about the Des Moines event.


Visit for more information about this national event.



Why Testing Together Is Important

Concurrent Partnerships and HIV Risk Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in New York City


A study in NYC shows that concurrent partnerships are a significant public health concern among men who have sex with men (MSM). The study describes the prevalence of concurrency and its association with serodiscordant/serostatus unknown unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse (SDUI) among MSM in New York City.


A total of 1458 MSM completed a social and sexual network inventory about their male and female sex partners, including concurrency, in the last 3 months. Logistic regression identified factors associated with SDUI.


29 – The median age of the participants.

23.5% – The proportion of participants who reported being HIV+.

3.2 – The reported mean of male partners in the last 3 months.

16.6% – The proportion of MSM who reported having recent SDUI.

63.2% – Described having concurrent sex partners (individual concurrency based on overlapping dates of relationships).

71.5% –  reported having partners whom they believed had concurrent partners (perceived partner concurrency).

56.1% – reported that both they and their partners had concurrent partners (reciprocal concurrency).


Among HIV+ men by self-report, having SDUI was positively associated with individual concurrency, any alcohol use during sex, having more male sex partners, and not having a main partner. Among self-reported HIV− men, having SDUI was positively associated with perceived partner concurrency, lower education level, any alcohol and drug use during sex, having more male sex partners, and having an anonymous partner.


Concurrency was common among MSM. The association of SDUI with individual and perceived partner concurrency, along with substance use during sex, having an anonymous partner, and having many sex partners likely further increases HIV acquisition and transmission risk among MSM. HIV prevention interventions should address concurrency among MSM.


Ready to get tested? Click here to schedule your appointment.


National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day - National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day March 10,2014


HIV/AIDS is a serious public health issue for women and girls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV. Of those people, one in four (25%) is a woman 13 or older. Approximately 27,000 women have HIV but do not know they have the disease.


National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a nationwide observance that sheds light on the disease’s impact on women and girls.


Encourage the women and girls in your life to get tested and know their status. Project HIM offers free & confidential HIV & STD screening here in Central Iowa. Click here to go to our get-tested page to schedule an appointment.


Learn more by visiting this website:

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day |


HIV AIDS Study: No transmission with undetectable viral load, gay or straight.


Viral load suppression means risk of HIV transmission is ‘at most’ 4% during anal sex, but final results not due till 2017.


The second large study to look at whether people with HIV become non-infectious if they are on antiretroviral therapy (ART) has found no cases where someone with a viral load under 200 copies/ml transmitted HIV, either by anal or vaginal sex.
Statistical analysis shows that the maximum likely chance of transmission via anal sex from someone on successful HIV treatment was 1% a year for any anal sex and 4% for anal sex with ejaculation where the HIV-negative partner was receptive; but the true likelihood is probably much nearer to zero than this.
When asked what the study tells us about the chance of someone with an undetectable viral load transmitting HIV, presenter Alison Rodger said: “Our best estimate is it’s zero.”
Click here to read an in-depth report

Related topic: FACT SHEET: Undetectable Viral Load


Primary Health Care & The AIDS Project To Join Forces


First Images from 2014 Project HIM Calendar

Whatever You're Into

2013 Project HIM calendar cover girl, Shenatta Tweenk Belle loves her Twinkies.

Last year, when we released the 2013 Project HIM calendar, Whatever You’re Into…, we did not anticipate that it’s going to be popular. We still have people asking for it, and it’s already September! It may have something to do with the sexy photos by Billy Porter (and the hot guys in it!). We just wanted to spread the word about Project HIM, and our particular brand of “no guilt, no shame” approach to HIV prevention.


For the 2014 Project HIM calendar, we took inspirations from our childhood. We partnered with photographer Robert Whicker and graphic designer Jordan Selha to create fun and sexy pictures of local guys and drag performers posing as characters from fairy tales, folk lore, and other literary fictional characters.


Earlier today, a portion of the photographs from 2014 calendar were released through our multiple social media outlets. The calendar will be unveiled during the annual Black Party this fall. More information about the event will come soon. In the meantime, here are some of the photos from the 2014 Project HIM calendar.


James & Joe as "Hansel & Gretel".

James & Joe as “Hansel & Gretel”.

2013 Mr. Iowa Leather, Mark as the big bad wolf, and Marwan as Red.

2013 Mr. Iowa Leather, Mark as the big bad wolf, and Marwan as Red.

The fabulous Tyona Diamond in and out of drag as Mulan

The fabulous Tyona Diamond in and out of drag as Mulan.

The handsome Anthony as the emperor in The Emperor's New Clothes.

The handsome Anthony as the emperor in The Emperor’s New Clothes.




New Testing Hours for 2013

New hours starting in 2013!
Mondays: 9am-2pm (walk-ins welcome)
Wednesdays: 11am-7pm (walk-ins welcome)
Fridays: 9am-2pm (by appointment only)


Message from Greg- July 2013

Greg - HIV Program DirectorProject HIM debuted Troy’s video at Pride. In the video, Troy shared that someone he slept with had been with an HIV + partner and that he was nervous about the possible risk of HIV. What wasn’t shared was that Troy was nervous because he’d slipped up and had sex without a condom with the guy he slept with.

This omission caused a stir on Project HIM’s Facebook page. Some comments on Facebook made it clear that there were people living with HIV that were hurt by the content of the video. A few of the comments became heated to the point where battle lines were drawn between those who are HIV-positive and those who work to prevent HIV. (To read all the comments, see the June 9th post on Project HIM’s Facebook page. Link)

Divisiveness hurts us all.

We apologize to those who were hurt by the video. Project HIM staff care about people –whether you’re positive, negative, or don’t know your status. In response to the expressed hurt, the video was temporarily disabled.

Truth be told, there’s more to the video. Another segment that explains Troy’s slip ups and gives some background about Troy isn’t through with our videographer’s refinements yet. When it is, the two segments of the video will be presented together.

Notably, all the videos produced by Project HIM and any educational materials we distribute undergo a mandatory review process by the Materials Review Committee for the Iowa Department of Public Health. In addition, Project HIM’s advisory committee, a group of gay men of various ages, professional backgrounds, and varying HIV status, review and provide feedback on each video’s content.

Inevitably though, questions still surface: How do we react when the personal stories shared by others aren’t exactly how we (as HIV prevention staff) think we might respond (armed with the knowledge and experience of working in the field of HIV prevention)? Do we jump in and explain—or uphold the dignity and worth of each person’s story —as it is? There’s no perfect answer.

Each misstep is an opportunity for healing and change.

Project HIM hopes to make the hurt and anger —the underlying passion—a starting place for conversation. Do we have to stigmatize HIV in order to prevent HIV? How can we work together as a community? These are the questions we’d like to discuss at a forum this fall that brings together HIV prevention, HIV care, those living with HIV, and those who are not. We can’t move forward together if we don’t tackle the thorns that keep hurting us.

Before Troy’s story was debuted, Project HIM and its advisory committee developed the summer campaign “Know Pride. Know your status.” We wanted to take away the stigma of HIV status and emphasize the importance of knowing what your status is. A disproportionate amount of new HIV infections happen because of those who have HIV but don’t know it. People who are HIV +, know that they are, and are getting treatment, aren’t spreading the virus and chances are they’ll live a long and healthy life—just as Troy astutely notes at the end of his second video.

Pride is knowing. Pride is taking charge of your health—whether you’re negative or positive. At this critical time in history, having experienced the repeal the of DOMA, what better to do than to take pride in who we are and push the stigmas we’ve all felt to the periphery—while we move toward the center. Where we can stand united.