Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that weakens the immune system, making it harder to fight infection and disease. Left untreated, HIV may progress to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). While there is no cure for HIV, the virus can be controlled. When able to access consistent medical care, people living with HIV may achieve and maintain suppression of the virus, enabling them to have a lifespan similar to those without the virus. For more information on HIV/AIDS, please visit the CDC website [external link].
The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested. Jefferson County Public Health offers screening, counseling and testing for HIV at our Lakewood clinic.
At Jefferson County Public Health:
- Tests are conducted one-on-one with a nurse who will answer questions and help assess your risk for getting infected with HIV.
- Individuals may qualify for testing at little or no cost. ($0-$20)
- HIV tests are offered at $20 for required testing and/or official documentation of test results (for travel or legal purposes)
- Please call and ask to speak to a nurse about any questions regarding testing or test fees.
PrEP stands for Pre Exposure Prophylaxis. PrEP is a medication that, when taken as directed, significantly reduces the chance of acquiring HIV.
- Jefferson County Public Health provides comprehensive PrEP services. Initiating and maintaining PrEP involves meeting regularly with a medical provider. Individuals interested in PrEP will:
- Initially meet with program staff to discuss and offer available services, answer questions, and assist with obtaining financial support for PrEP
- Meet with a medical provider. This appointment includes obtaining a blood sample to determine medical eligibility for PrEP.
- Once medical eligibility has been verified, the prescription will be available.
- Meet with medical provider approximately 28 days from the previous visit for follow-up, including blood samples.
- Meet with a medical provider every 3 months for routine follow-up.
For more information on PrEP services at Jefferson County Public Health, please contact a Public Health Nurse at 303-239-7078.
For more information and a listing of PrEP providers across the state of Colorado, please visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s PrEP website [external link] or visit the Proud to be Prepped site [external link].