Are you needing HIV/STI testing, PrEP, or HIV medical care?
Prism Health North Texas (PHNTX) has five health centers in Dallas, TX that offer prevention services and HIV medical care. You can find the nearest PHNTX clinic by clicking the “Find a PHNTX Health Center” button below.
There are also plenty of other health clinics and organizations around Dallas-Fort Worth and in the state of Texas that offer HIV/STI prevention and medical services. Click the “HIV/STI Service Locator” button below, and you’ll be directed to the HIV.gov service locator page.
Condoms help prevent HIV, STIs, and pregnancy when used correctly.
Regularly getting tested and knowing your status is key to HIV/STI prevention and keeping you and your partners safe. If you’re in need of a test, contact or visit one of the five clinics located in Dallas, TX, to make an appointment.
Post-exposure prophylaxis. nPEP is used after a single high-risk event to stop HIV infection. nPEP must be started as soon as possible – within 72 hours of a possible exposure.
PrEP is a daily medication used to prevent the acquisition of HIV. PrEP is over 96% effective when used as prescribed. PHNTX offers PrEP services at all clinics. Think PrEP is right for you? Make an appointment by calling 214-521-5191.
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTION (STI)
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI aka STD) are bacterial and viral infections that are passed through sexual contact (oral, vaginal, anal, mutual masturbation). People who have an STI may be at an increased risk of getting HIV.
Modes of Transmission
*More research needs to be done.
Chlamydia is a common STI that is transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids such as blood, semen, and vaginal fluid. Chlamydia can be transmitted through anal, vaginal, and oral sex.
Symptoms include clear discharge from the vagina/penis and a burning sensation when urinating. Some patients may not experience symptoms. Chlamydia can be cured with an antibiotic medication regimen.
Gonorrhea is an STI that is transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids such as blood, semen, and vaginal fluid. Gonorrhea can be transmitted through anal, vaginal, and oral sex.
Symptoms include yellow or green discharge from the vagina/penis, a burning sensation when urinating, vaginal bleeding between periods, and ulcerations (a sore or wound). Gonorrhea can be cured with antibiotic medication. If left untreated, it can lead to infertility.
Syphilis is a STI that is transmitted through bodily fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal fluid, and even heavy sweat.
Symptoms include a chancre (sore) on the penis, vagina, or tongue or a body-wide rash. Syphilis is transmitted by oral, anal, and vaginal sex. Syphilis can also be transmitted through direct contact with syphilitic sores on the skin. If treated early, syphilis is curable. If treated late, it may not be curable. Syphilis is treated with an antibiotic.
Hepatitis B (HBV) is a liver infection that is transmitted by bodily fluids such as blood and semen. This can happen through sexual contact, sharing needles and syringes, and from mother to baby at birth. HBV can be a short-term illness for some but a longer-term chronic infection for others. Infants are most at risk for chronic infection, which can lead to health issues such as cirrhosis or liver cancer. Hepatitis B can be prevented by getting vaccinated.
Hepatitis C (HCV) is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation and is transmitted through bloody transmission from needle sharing or during sex. Symptoms include liver cirrhosis and decay, brain damage, internal bleeding, jaundice, low thyroid disease, and abdominal and lower swelling. Hep C can be cured and is treated with a daily medication that has to be taken over 8-12 weeks.
Human Papilloma Virus is a common virus that can cause cancer. It is one of the only STIs that has a vaccine that can prevent infection and cancer caused by certain strains of HPV.
HIV / AIDS
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks cells that help the body fight infection, making a person more vulnerable to other infections and diseases. It is spread by contact with certain bodily fluids of a person with HIV, most commonly during unprotected sex (sex without a condom or HIV medicine to prevent or treat HIV), or through sharing injection drug equipment.
If left untreated, HIV can lead to the disease AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
The human body can’t get rid of HIV and no effective HIV cure exists. So, once you have HIV, you have it for life.
Luckily, however, effective treatment with HIV medicine (called antiretroviral therapy or ART) is available. If taken as prescribed, HIV medicine can reduce the amount of HIV in the blood (also called the viral load) to a very low level. This is called viral suppression. If a person’s viral load is so low that a standard lab can’t detect it, this is called having an undetectable viral load. People with HIV who take HIV medicine as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load can live long and healthy lives and will not transmit HIV to their HIV-negative partners through sex.
In addition, there are effective methods to prevent getting HIV through sex or drug use, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), medicine people at risk for HIV take to prevent getting HIV from sex or injection drug use, and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), HIV medicine taken within 72 hours after a possible exposure to prevent the virus from taking hold.
AIDS is the late stage of HIV infection that occurs when the body’s immune system is badly damaged because of the virus.
In the U.S., most people with HIV do not develop AIDS because taking HIV medicine as prescribed stops the progression of the disease.
A person with HIV is considered to have progressed to AIDS when:
- the number of their CD4 cells falls below 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood (200 cells/mm3). (In someone with a healthy immune system, CD4 counts are between 500 and 1,600 cells/mm3.) OR
- they develop one or more opportunistic infections regardless of their CD4 count.
Without HIV medicine, people with AIDS typically survive about 3 years. Once someone has a dangerous opportunistic illness, life expectancy without treatment falls to about 1 year. HIV medicine can still help people at this stage of HIV infection, and it can even be lifesaving. But people who start HIV medicine soon after they get HIV experience more benefits—that’s why HIV testing is so important.
Antiretroviral Therapy or ART is the type of medicine that treats HIV. ART cannot cure HIV, but it can help people with HIV stay healthy and live longer.
For most people, ART is made up of 3 different medications. Sometimes these medications are all in the same pill. Like any medicine, there are some risks and side effects with ART.
When someone is on ART, it is important that they take their medication every day (medication adherence). Good medication adherence helps bring the virus down to low levels in the body. The goal is to have an undetectable viral load, usually less than 50 copies of HIV per milliliter of blood (<50 copies/mL). [/av_toggle] [av_toggle title='CD4' tags='' custom_id='' av_uid='av-lmuv37qa' sc_version='1.0'] CD4 cells (aka T Cells and Helper Cells) are white blood cells that fight infections. HIV attacks and kills CD4 cells making it harder for your body to defend against infections. [/av_toggle] [av_toggle title='Viral Load' tags='' custom_id='' av_uid='av-lmuukos6' sc_version='1.0']
Viral load is the amount of HIV in the blood of someone who living with HIV.
Viral suppression is defined as having less than 200 copies of HIV per milliliter of blood. HIV medicine can even make the viral load so low that a test can’t detect it. This is called an undetectable viral load.
U=U means “undetectable equals untransmittable.” Meaning that a person living with HIV with an undetectable viral load cannot transmit HIV to someone else. Good medication adherence will help maintain an undetectable viral load.