Kamilah Mirza / The Mainstream   

HIV Alliance spreads awareness, educates Douglas County

The HIV Alliance, which has been serving Oregon communities since 1994, comes to UCC at least once per term. This month, they came to campus to inform about their services.

What is HIV and AIDS?

HIV, human immunodeficiency virus, weakens the immune system and makes it harder for the body to fight off infections and certain types of cancers. It can also trigger other autoimmune conditions. AIDS, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is the final stage of HIV infection; however, not everyone who has HIV gets AIDS.

Common side effects of HIV are flu like symptoms and swollen glands. Symptoms may appear weeks, months, or even years after exposure. Anyone can be affected by HIV regardless of age, sexual orientation, race or religion.

The AidsVu study showed that 77.9% of male transmission was through male-to-male sexual contact and 9.2% of male transmission was through injection drug use; 71.4% of female transmission was through heterosexual contact and 28.6% of female transmission was through injection drug use.

HIV Alliance

Services offered are confidential and HIPPA compliant. They provide free OraQuick Rapid Tests, with results as soon as 20 minutes as well as other forms of HIV testing. They provide medications to reduce the risk of contracting HIV. PrEP, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis and Truvada, is the two drug combination that works together to prevent a possible infection of someone who is exposed to HIV. Hepatitis C, a blood borne pathogen, testing and treatment is also available. There are syringe services available for transgender members of the community in need of hormonal therapy via syringe.

HIV Alliance Harm Reduction services include public education, clean needle exchanges and disposal, Narcan or Naloxone training and injectable Naloxone available for clients and first responders.

Those living with HIV are able to enroll in care coordination through the Alliance. Coordination includes help with planning and managing healthcare, education, emergency financial and housing services, dental services and support groups.

HIV Alliance of Roseburg can be reached at 541-440-2761. The Southern Region PrEP Coordinator, Donny Beer, can be reached at 541-729-3272. Volunteer and donation options are available through the alliance as well. For more information regarding HIV Alliance please visit hivalliance.org

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