HIV Prevention, Education & Outreach

Radiant Health Centers’ Health Education & Outreach programs seek to inform and teach the public about LGBTQ+ health equity and how to avoid HIV transmission – and know your status. Research has shown that knowing your status and how to prevent HIV transmission is essential in eliminating HIV disease.

Radiant Health Centers’ HIV Education Outreach Is Thorough

Clients – Treatment educators help clients partner with their physicians to make informed choices and maximize the benefits of HIV treatments.

Prevention – Prevention educators work with those at risk of contracting HIV and those at risk of transmitting the disease to stop the transmission of HIV in the community.

Awareness – Living with HIV Life Skills Workshops.

How HIV Disease Has Changed Over the Years

New drugs and therapies have dramatically improved HIV treatment and the life expectancy of people living with HIV. And fortunately, the number of Americans living with HIV has decreased over the years.

While many today know their HIV status, some people who are HIV+ do not know it. Nationally, six in seven people know their HIV status. In contrast, here in Orange County – thanks to the work of Radiant Health Centers and its partners – nine in 10 people living with HIV know their status. However, an estimated 600 to 700 Orange County residents living with HIV are unaware of their HIV status, and can therefore unknowingly pass it on to others.

About 300 people every year in our community become HIV positive, demonstrating that the important education and prevention work must continue. Our prevention efforts include outreach that encourages people to know their status, as well as helping those at risk for HIV transmission to access new medications that can help stop the transmission of the virus.

How HIV Is Transmitted

Five fluids can transmit HIV into the body and bloodstream of another person.

  • Blood
  • Semen (including pre-ejaculate)
  • Vaginal fluids
  • Breast milk (of someone with HIV)
  • Anal fluid

Some people have become infected with HIV from blood transfusions or blood products; however, donated blood has been tested since 1985, so this risk is now extremely low.

How HIV Is Not Transmitted

Unlike colds or flu viruses, HIV is not transmitted through the air, by touching, or by everyday casual contact. You do not have to worry about getting HIV from the below examples.

  • A food server, eating utensils or food
  • Pets or insect bites
  • Donating blood
  • Using public restrooms, drinking fountains or swimming pools
  • An HIV+ person sitting next to you
  • Sharing telephones, computers and gym equipment
  • Shaking hands, hugging or social (dry) kissing where no open sores or cuts are present

The best way to prevent HIV is to know your status. Radiant Health Centers provide free confidential testing.

HIV testing services are available at our Irvine medical clinic or with discreet at-home tests. The aim is to provide fast, convenient testing services that enable immediate treatment following a positive HIV test result.

How to Treat HIV

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1.1 million people are living with HIV disease in this country. Today, people in the U.S. with HIV have more treatment options than ever before, as over the past two decades an array of medications has been developed to help. Each person living with HIV needs to consult with an HIV specialist to have an appropriate treatment regimen prescribed.

One of the most effective ways to improve clinical outcomes after an HIV diagnosis is with Rapid antiretroviral therapy (ART). Following a positive HIV test, individuals may be prescribed antiretroviral medication that suppresses HIV replication. Early administration of Rapid ART therapy – sometimes even the same day as a diagnosis – helps to control the virus and prevent transmission to other people.

Antiretroviral therapy is available as pills or shots. Pills are usually taken immediately after an HIV diagnosis, with routine shots an option further on into treatment. Both types of medication can lead to an undetectable viral load or viral suppression.

Additional HIV treatment options include the following:

Get Access to HIV Testing and Treatment Services in Orange County

Radiant Health Centers provides direct access to HIV testing and treatment services from our Orange County medical clinic or via at-home testing. If you believe you have been exposed to the virus, want to know your status, or need help with treatment, don’t hesitate to contact us. Call our medical clinic at (949) 809-5700 or request an appointment here.

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