Many people believe HIV is a story from our past because the Hu-man Immunodeficiency Virus looks much different than it did in the 80s and 90s. Today, this infection is a life-long, but manageable disease thanks to more effective drugs. And with early detection and steady medical treatment, it is possible to be HIV-positive without spreading the virus to others. While many still associate HIV with gay men, according to Alaska’s Department of Health and Human Services, more than a third of HIV cases reported in the state between 2011 and 2015 were transmitted through heterosexual sex.
Using effective protection and getting tested are key to prevent the spread of disease. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone between ages 13 and 64 get tested for HIV. Four A’s (Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association) offers free HIV testing at their offices in Anchorage and Juneau.
Four A’s is also a one-stop shop for HIV prevention. Staff distribute condoms statewide, provide free HIV testing, exchange used syringes for new ones, and educate Alaskans on how to stay disease free. While the last census reports that Latinos constitute 7% of the Alaska population, they make up 13% of the client population at the Four A’s. So if you need language assistance, Four A’s has a full time Hispanic Case Manager, Angela Dunn, who is Panamanian and speaks fluent Spanish.
Knowledge is power. Connect with the Four A’s to get more information, get tested, and protect your family and community: www.AlaskanAIDS.org
Four A’s Anchorage: 1057 W. Fireweed Lane, Suite 102, (907) 263-2050
Schedule for HIV tests: Mon -Fri: 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Four A’s Juneau: 174 S Franklin St., Suite 207, (907) 586-6089
Schedule for HIV tests: Mon, Tue & Thu: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Wed & Fri: 8:00 am - 12:00pm