Positively Hennepin

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Our county is in the middle of an HIV epidemic. Positively Hennepin is the county government’s strategy to end our epidemic.

Vision

The strategy envisions a Hennepin County where

  • All people living with HIV/AIDS have healthy, vibrant lives
  • There are NO new HIV infections
  • All people have equitable access to HIV prevention and health care services

Goals

To achieve our vision of ending our HIV epidemic, Positively Hennepin has three goals:

  • Decrease new HIV infections
  • Ensure equitable access to HIV prevention and health treatments and
  • Engage and facilitate the empowerment of communities that the epidemic hits hardest

Hennepin County government should be able to easily connect its residents with HIV prevention and treatment programs, whenever and wherever those services are needed. Everyone in our community—from private clinics, universities, faith communities, and beyond—plays a part in stopping HIV. For Positively Hennepin to succeed, partnerships between all levels of government and the public and private sectors need to be built.

To achieve the strategy’s three goals and to build community partnerships, Positively Hennepin has twenty-six tactics and ten milestones we will use to measure our progress toward stopping HIV in Hennepin County. We want to achieve these milestones by the end of 2018.

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Ending HIV is within reach

Ending the HIV epidemic was once an impossible task. But now stopping this epidemic is within reach because of new medications and health-policy advances.

Medications for HIV-negative people that prevent infections

  • PrEP is a daily medication that HIV-negative people can take to prevent becoming infected with HIV. It is highly effective, reducing the risk of HIV infection by up to 92% when taken consistently.
  • PEP also prevents HIV infections. This medication is taken within three days of a likely exposure to HIV, preventing the virus from taking hold in a person.

When HIV is undetectable, it's untransmittable

  • Antiretroviral medicines that keep people living with HIV healthy also stop new infections. When people living with HIV maintain care with their providers and take antiretroviral medications regularly, the amount of virus in their body is undetectable and untransmittable. In other words, when people living with HIV have undetectable viral loads, the virus cannot be passed to their sexual partners.

Advances in health policy

The Affordable Care Act gave health insurance to millions of Americans and is vital to ending the HIV epidemic. When people living with HIV have access to health insurance, they can access life-saving antiretroviral therapies and become virally suppressed. A person who is virally suppressed has an undetectable amount of virus in their body. Increased access to health insurance also grows the number of people who can afford HIV-prevention drugs and services. When more people are virally suppressed and when more can afford HIV prevention services, the virus cannot be passed on to others.

Who is affected by the HIV epidemic

HIV can infect anyone, but there is not equal access to HIV antiretroviral therapies, HIV testing and prevention efforts, and the drugs that prevent HIV infections. Therefore, HIV hits hardest in certain communities.

Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men

  • Men under the age of thirty who are either gay, bisexual, or have sex with other men are at particular risk of HIV infection.
  • Men who have sex with men (of all races and ethnicities) are 52 times more likely to live with HIV than men who don’t have sex with men.

Black men and women (both African Americans and those born in Africa)

  • Black men and women are nearly 5 times more likely to live with HIV than their white neighbors in the county.
  • Black men who are either gay, bisexual, or have sex with other men are particularly hard hit by HIV.
  • If we cannot change the course of America’s HIV epidemic, half of all black men who have sex with men will live with HIV.

American Indians

  • American Indians are just over two and half times more likely to live with HIV than white residents.

Latinos and Latinas

  • Latinos and Latinas are almost twice as likely to live with HIV than as likely to live with HIV as white county residents.

Transgender people

  • Nationally, transgender women are at high risk for HIV infection.
  • Of all transgender people diagnosed with HIV, half are black/African American.

How the strategy works

To achieve our vision of ending our HIV epidemic, Positively Hennepin has three goals:

  • Decrease new HIV infections
  • Ensure equitable access to HIV prevention and health treatments and
  • Engage and facilitate the empowerment of communities that the epidemic hits hardest

Hennepin county government should be able to easily connect its residents with HIV prevention and treatment programs, whenever and wherever those services are needed. Everyone in our community—from private clinics, universities, faith communities, and beyond—plays a part in stopping HIV. For Positively Hennepin to succeed, partnerships between all levels of government and the public and private sectors need to be built.

To achieve the Strategy’s three goals and to build community partnerships, Positively Hennepin has twenty-six tactics and ten milestones we will use to measure our progress toward stopping HIV in Hennepin County. We want to achieve these milestones by the end of 2018.

Learn more about Positively Hennepin

Join us in ending the epidemic

Do you have questions about Positively Hennepin? Would you like to help us bring the HIV epidemic to an end? Contact Jake Maxon, the Positively Hennepin Coordinator, at positively@hennepin.us.

Get help for HIV

Do you have HIV or think that you might have HIV? Do you want to get tested for HIV or get access to medications that can prevent you from being infected with HIV?

Red Door

Red Door offers sexual health care for all people and sterile syringes for injection drug users. Get confidential HIV/STI testing and treatment in a safe, caring setting at the Red Door.

  • 525 Portland Avenue South in Minneapolis
  • Make an appointment or get test results by calling 612-543-5555.
  • Walk-ins are also available.

Get PrEP — the medication that can prevent HIV infections

PrEP is a daily pill for people who don’t have HIV but are at high risk of getting it. This medication, along with condom use, safer sex counseling, and routine testing for sexually transmitted infections, can help reduce your risk of getting HIV. The Red Door Clinic prescribes PrEP. To find more places where you can get PrEP, view the interactive map of providers in the metro area. Select "individual provider locations" to get additional information.

Resources for HIV and sexual health

The Minnesota AIDS Project (MAP) AIDSLine can help by:

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