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HIV Testing: Learning Status With Mouth Swab Reduces Transmission Rate

In Oregon, nearly one in seven people infected with HIV Aids is unaware they have the disease. The longer someone goes without treatment, the greater the risk of spreading HIV. A simple test is available to anyone who wants to know their status.

Paul Homan, who has been HIV positive for 12 years, is Senior Program Manager with HIV Alliance. He says testing and treatment are the keys to breaking the viral transmission cycle.  

Homan: “If you know your status and you’re treated and you’re on meds and you have a suppressed viral load—you are really unlikely to transmit HIV because a suppressed viral load doesn’t transmit as easily because it’s less replications of HIV in your system.”

Homan says he hears a variety of reasons for why people put off being tested. Fear, denial, busy schedules. HIV Alliance identifies high-risk populations as men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs and partners of people living with HIV. Tests are quick and easy—a swab of the mouth and about 30 minutes for results and counseling.

HIV Alliance is offering testing this week from 1 to 4 pm at their offices in Eugene and all day Tuesday in their Roseburg office.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and worked in a variety of media including television, technical writing, photography and daily print news before moving to the Pacific Northwest.
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