South Dakota HIV/AIDS facts and information

As of January 2016, the South Dakota Department of Health reports more than 500 individuals are living with HIV/AIDS in the state. 

25 new HIV cases were reported in 2015

South Dakota HIV/AIDS Statistics
through December 2015

Number of South Dakota residents reported infected with HIV — 730
Number of the above who have been diagnosed with AIDS — 391
Number estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS in South Dakota — 547

South Dakota Department of Health
HIV/AIDS information.

How you CAN get HIV infection/AIDS

Blood, semen, vaginal secretions, breast feeding

  • Unprotected sexual contact (anal, vaginal, or oral) with an HIV infected person
  • Sharing needles and syringes – injectable drug use
  • Receiving blood transfusions or organs between January 1977 and June 1985 (blood and organs received after June 1985 are considered safe from HIV)
  • Mother to baby before, during, or after birth (HIV may be transmitted through breast milk if infant is nursed by an HIV infected mother)
  • Occupation in healthcare or lab

How you WON’T CONTRACT HIV infection/AIDS

  • Not by being bitten by mosquitoes or other bugs
  • Not by being bitten by an animal
  • Not through saliva, tears, urine, stool
  • Not by eating food handled, prepared, or served by someone with HIV infection
  • Not by sharing toilets, telephones, or clothes
  • Not by sharing forks, spoons, knives, or drinking glasses
  • Not by touching, hugging, or kissing a person with HIV infection
  • Not by attending school, participating in sports, church, shopping malls, or other public places with HIV infected people

How You Can Reduce Your Risk of Exposure and Infection with HIV

  1. Abstain from having sexual intercourse. Your risk of exposure to HIV through
    sexual contact becomes zero when you are not exposed to potentially infectious blood, semen, or vaginal secretions.
  2. Develop a monogamous relationship with mutual fidelity. Persons who are not infected and in a monogamous (one sex partner) relationship with mutual fidelity (no cheating), have no risk of exposure to HIV through sex (provided neither shares IV drug needles).
  3. Avoid sex with persons at risk for getting HIV, persons who have tested positive for HIV, or persons who have AIDS.
  4. Use of condoms can reduce your risk of any sexually transmitted disease, but they are NO guarantee. Brand name latex is best.
  5. Don’t abuse IV drugs. Don’t shoot drugs, if you do, don’t share needles or
    syringes. Many diseases are spread this way (Hepatitis).
  6. If you think you may have been exposed to HIV, get counseled and tested.

Symptoms of HIV Infection

  • The only way to know whether you are infected is to be tested for HIV.
  • You cannot rely on symptoms alone because many people who are infected with HIV do not have symptoms for many years.
  • Someone can look and feel healthy but can still be infected.
  • In fact, one quarter of the HIV-infected persons in the United States do not know that they are infected. See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Q&A for more information.

HIV Testing

  • Once HIV enters the body, the body starts to produce antibodies—substances the immune system creates after infection.
  • There are many different kinds of HIV tests, including rapid tests and home test kits.
  • All HIV tests approved by the US government are very good at finding HIV. See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Q&A on testing for more information.

Finding a Testing Site

  • Heartland Health offers FREE rapid HIV testing at our office location. 
  • You can locate additional testing sites by clicking here or visiting the Department of Health web page, the CDC HIV testing database or by calling CDC-INFO (formerly the CDC National AIDS Hotline) at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) 24 Hours/Day. You do not have to give any personal information about yourself to use these services to find a testing site.
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