Hepatitis C: TEST and TREAT
Infection with viral hepatitis C can, over time, result in chronic disease and serious, sometimes life threatening, liver conditions. A key factor in transmission is the sharing of injection drug equipment; persons who inject drugs account for 75% of new cases nationwide. Over a thousand of chronic hepatitis C are reported in Montana every year, many from the Baby Boomer generation who may have injected as little as one time. Unlike hepatitis A and B, there is no vaccine for hepatitis C; however, curative treatment is available.
Syphilis Strikes Back
Once felt to be nearly eliminated, syphilis is again rearing its ugly head across the nation. Montana reported 14 cases of primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis cases in 2016; as of the end of March, ten cases of P&S have been reported in the state, leading to the possibility that disease numbers for the year could triple.
Syphilis is affecting persons age 19-62 and has been reported out of seven Montana counties.
Men who have sex with men make up the majority of those in the state affected in 2017.
Fast Facts: Women and HIV in Montana
Of the 595 persons reported to be living with HIV in Montana as of the end of 2015, 87 or 15% were women. 24% of infected women in Montana report injection drug use as a transmission risk; the remainder report high risk heterosexual contact. At the time of new diagnosis, females of ages 25-44, like their male counterparts, were the most common age group.
Ryan White HIV care programs throughout the state provide treatment and supportive services to increase access to care and treatment. Seventy-two (22%) of 2015 Ryan White enrollees were female. Women with HIV in Montana are more likely to be in care and have a lower percentage of progression from HIV to AIDS than males.
Testing Makes Us Stronger
Click anywhere on the banner to find a testing site near you!
To learn more about HIV Testing and where to test in your area, go to: http://dphhs.mt.gov/publichealth/hivstd/hivtesting
For community specific campaign materials, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/actagainstaids/campaigns/doingit
About HIV and AIDS
HIV Frequently Asked Questions
HIV does not discriminate. It affects all ages, socio-economic groups, races, and sexual orientations. HIV is the virus that can lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Virus (AIDS). In Montana, 488 people (one in 2000) are living with HIV or AIDS. That number includes two children and 45 people over 49 years of age.
HIV is transmitted through unprotected sexual activity with an infected person, by using infected needles, or through birth or breast milk if the mother is infected. You cannot get HIV through kissing, sharing a drinking glass, eating utensils or touching a toilet seat. Yet, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation public opinion survey, nearly one-half of Americans believe one or more of these misconceptions to be true.
For people with multiple sex partners, the best way to prevent the transmission of HIV is to use a latex condom for vaginal, anal or oral sex. For injecting drug users, never share needles or syringes for drugs, steroids or vitamins. Never share needles or inks for tattoos, ear piercing or body piercing. Don't mix sex and drugs. Alcohol and other drugs can make it difficult to avoid risk behavior. For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
HIV Prevention Community Planning
Montana’s HIV prevention community planning process is structured for the purpose of meeting the goals for HIV Prevention Community Planning as described in the 2003-2008 HIV Prevention Community Planning Guidance.
Goal One – Community planning supports broad-based community participation in HIV prevention planning.
Goal Two - Community planning identifies priority HIV prevention needs (a set of priority target populations and interventions for each identified target population) in each jurisdiction.
Goal Three - Community planning ensures that that HIV prevention resources target priority populations and interventions set forth in the comprehensive HIV prevention plan.
More than one-million Americans are infected with HIV, and one in four of them does not know it. Forty-one thousand Americans are infected with HIV each year. Half of them are teenagers.
In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended HIV testing as part of routine medical examinations for anyone 13 – 64 years of age. Anonymous or confidential HIV testing is available throughout Montana.
There is still no cure for HIV and AIDS, but breakthrough antiretroviral medicines have greatly increased the life expectancy of people living with HIV and AIDS.