MCHC Health Centers

HIV Prevention

How can HIV be prevented?

HIV is transmitted through blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk. HIV is most easily spread through anal sex, vaginal sex, and sharing needles or syringes (know as “works”)  for injection drugs. Below are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of becoming infected with HIV.

Know your HIV status.

It is recommended that ALL Americans aged 13-64, regardless of risk factor should get tested at least once for HIV as a routine part of medical care and that others at high risk get tested for HIV at least once a year.

Locate an HIV testing site

For information on where to get conventional HIV testing, visit the National Prevention Information Network at

MCAVHN - Mendocino County AIDS/Viral Hepatitis Network

 (707) 462-1932

148 Clara Avenue, Ukiah, Ca 95482

Hepatitis C and Anonymous HIV Testing

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 9am-5pm and Tuesdays 1pm-5pm  

Contact CCHAP Community Care HIV/AIDS Program at for anonymous test dates and locations.

CCHAP -Community Care HIV/AIDS Program

Mendocino County (707) 462-3041

301 S. State Street, Ukiah, Ca 95482

Lake County (707) 995-1606

8050 Lake Street, Ste. A, Lower Lake, CA 95457

Abstain from sexual activity or be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.

Limit your number of sex partners. The fewer partners you have, the less likely you are to encounter someone who is infected with HIV or another STD (sexually transmitted disease).

Correct and consistent condom use. Latex condoms are highly effective at preventing transmission of HIV and other STD's. “Natural” or lambskin condoms do not provide sufficient protection against HIV infection. If you or your partner is allergic to latex, polyurethane condoms are the best alternative.   

PrEP. Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a prevention option for people who are at high risk of getting HIV. It’s meant to be used consistently, as a pill taken every day, and to be used with other prevention options such as condoms. The goal of PrEP is to prevent HIV infection from taking hold if you are exposed to the virus. This is done by taking one pill every day. These are some of the same medicines used to keep the virus under control in people who are already living with HIV.

PEP.  Post-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PEP involves taking anti-HIV medications as soon as possible after you may have been exposed to HIV to try to reduce the chance of becoming HIV positive. These medications keep HIV from making copies of itself and spreading through your body. To be effective, PEP must begin within 72 hours of exposure, before the virus has time to make too many copies of itself in your body. PEP is not 100% effective; it does not guarantee that someone exposed to HIV will not become infected with HIV.

Get tested and treated. Get tested for STDs and encourage your partners to also. If you test positive for an STD, get treatment.

Talk to your sex partner(s). Talking about sexual histories, sexual preferences, STDs, HIV, and testing can help protect you and your partner. It’s also a good way to learn more about your partner and your relationship.

Avoid sharing any of your needles or syringes (know as “works”) with other people. It is also recommended that you use a new needle and syringe every time you inject. If you cannot access a syringe exchange site, syringes can be purchased over the counter at a pharmacy without a prescription.



Key References


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