Questions about Hepatitis C (HCV) and HIV

If you already know you are living with HIV or HCV and need help finding HIV or HCV treatment or support services, you can talk to a Points West team member or contact the clinic at 303-239-7078 to make an appointment.

Question: 

Answer:

What is HIV and HCV?

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and hepatitis C (HCV) are viruses that can be acquired through blood and bodily fluids. This generally happens through sexual activity or injection drug use. People who use drugs face higher rates of HIV and HCV than people who do not use drugs. Many are living with both HIV and HCV, and they can be treated together. Both viruses are easily treatable with medication, but they can cause serious medical problems if not treated.  

Question: 

How is it transmitted?

Answer:

HIV is acquired through blood as well as semen, vaginal fluid and breast milk. It is easily treatable and people living with HIV can lead long, healthy lives. Medications can reduce the amount of virus in someone's blood that it can't be detected. When HIV is undetectable, it can't be transmitted. 

Question: 

How can it be prevented?

Answer:

Harm reduction tools, like those offered at Points West, can help reduce transmission of both HIV and HCV.  Syringe service programs offer a place where people who use drugs can access new supplies, as well as free and confidential HIV & HCV testing.

 

HIV prevention tools can include: 

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Answer:

Is there HIV and HCV testing at Points West?

Testing for HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) is quick and confidential. It takes approximately 30 minutes including paperwork and requires only a drop of blood. Your tester will likely be a familiar Points West face or one of our harm reduction trained nurses. Testing is free to anyone who requests it. 

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