This National HIV Testing Day the STD/HIV Program (SHP) is introducing, Start It! Louisiana, a statewide campaign that will be implemented, June 24 – 27, 2019 that encourages conversations about sexual health. The Start It! Louisiana campaign seeks to normalize sexual health without disregarding the barriers Louisiana citizens encounter due to access, systemic racism, and personal constraints. The goal of the Start It! Louisiana campaign is to mobilize, normalize, and support Louisiana citizens in their sexual health.
Why Should I Start It?
We all should start practicing sexual health because we want to protect ourselves and our partners from STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections). Of the estimated 25,600 people living with HIV in Louisiana 1 in 5 are un-diagnosed and unaware of their status (Click here for more info). Like most STIs we don’t know we are living with them until we are tested for them. Fortunately there’s treatment for all STIs and some are even curable. Consider this as our way of starting the conversation with you about sexual health. Start sharing the knowledge you’ve learned and encourage family friends partners and even yourself to start: PrEP, using condoms, talking with loved ones, using treatment, and getting tested.
Who can Start It?
Everyone! Sexual health is something that everyone can start and share. It doesn’t matter what age you are, what ethnic background you’re from, what your sexual orientation is, or what’s your gender identity, it matters that you start sexual health. This could be as minimal as having the conversation about sexual health, or we can kick it up a bit and start PrEP, and even explore U=U.
How can I Start It?
Sometimes talking about sexual health is the most difficult thing to do. How do you talk about sex without making it awkward? Honestly there’s no perfect way to do it, it just matters that you do and we have tips to help you Start It!
Getting tested can save your life. It doesn’t matter what the results are it just matters that you’re healthy. We can provide you with the tools you’ll need to remain healthy, like PrEP, HIV Treatment, and condoms. So don’t be intimidated start getting tested! For National HIV Testing Day we are doing statewide testing from June 24-27. Scroll down to see who’s testing near you!
Today there’s treatment and cures for all STDs. It doesn’t matter if your test results come back positive or negative, it matters that you get the right treatment to keep you healthy! People living with HIV can now achieve an Undetectable status which means if we are living with HIV and take our medication as prescribed we can become undetectable and can’t transmit HIV to other people (U=U).
Did your know there’s a pill to prevent HIV? It’s called PrEP, when this pill is taken daily it can drastically reduce your chances of contracting HIV more than 90%. It doesn’t matter how you protect yourself it just matters that you do.