The Wyoming Health Department will work with public health offices and family planning clinics to offer free HIV testing statewide.
Rob Johnston of the Health Department said it’s important for Wyomingites to know their HIV status. He admits Wyoming has fewer incidences of HIV infection than most other states, but where HIV/AIDS is often associated with intravenous drug users and gay men, Johnston says there have been more heterosexual men and women diagnosed in Wyoming in recent years. He says people are just less cautious because AIDS doesn’t seem as scary as it did in the 1980s.
“I don’t think people think it is a nearly as big a deal as it was in the past, mainly because of a lot of the medications that are out there and the fact that people are living a lot longer with HIV.”
Johnston says it’s unwise to assume treatment will always be available for new cases – there are waiting lists in many other states – so people should take care to protect themselves during sex.
Anyone interested in being tested for HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases can print off a free testing voucher at www.KnowWyo.org. The website lists more than 20 participating centers statewide.