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Have Questions?

Read our expert answers to frequently asked questions about HIV and STD Testing.

Learn About HIV

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus and was first discovered in 1981. Reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there will be approximately 50,000 new HIV infections every year in the United States and it is estimated that 1,178,350 individuals are currently living with the disease at the close of 2008. Of the people living with HIV, roughly 20% don't understand they have the disease and thus are not receiving the right treatment and risk spreading HIV unknowingly.

According to the CDC, HIV awareness and testing programs have thwarted over 350,000 HIV infections per year. For sexually active individuals, safe sex and regular HIV testing greatly reduces your risk .

HIV Overview

HIV attacks the body's immune responses by damaging certain white blood cells, also known as T-cells (short for T-lymphocytes). These T-cells are a vital part of orchestrating the body's immune system. Over time, an individual's compromised immune system leaves them extremely susceptible to other viruses and infections and can lead to AIDS.

Mainly, HIV can be transmitted during several types of unprotected sex -vaginal, anal or oral- through infected semen, blood or vaginal secretions. Sharing infected syringes is another source of HIV spread.

Although there is still no cure, HIV is not the morbid diagnosis it used to be.. There have been tremendous advancements in the effectiveness of HIV medications. Living a long and healthy life while HIV positive is attainable with proper medical care. Early detection through HIV testing is key to treatment and can ensure a patient's quality of life can be maintained for as long as possible.

St. Louis HIV & STD Statistics

STDs and HIV are still a serious health issue in the U.S. and in St. Louis. Below are a few national, Missouri and St. Louis County stats and facts about HIV and STDs:

People Living with HIV


People Living with AIDS

St. Louis County1,734

Chlamydia Infections

St. Louis County5,264

Gonorrhea Infections

St. Louis County1,330

All Syphilis Infections

St. Louis County83

More STD Statistical Resources

Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services

Data Source:
* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, HIV Incidence and Case Surveillance Branch