LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – A new alarming statistic from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services shows that 17 percent of people in Wisconsin infected with the HIV virus don’t even know they have it.
Paula Silha works at the County Health Department as a Health Education Manager and says that there are simple, basic ways to prevent getting HIV.
“Early on there might not be any symptoms that would trigger anyone to looking at or thinking that they would be HIV positive. And so that’s why it’s important to look at those behaviors that transmit HIV – unprotected sex, injection drug use, sharing of needles – and so if you participate in those behaviors then you can do some thing to protect yourself and so using a condom when you’re having sex is important all the time,” said Silha.
In 2017, 250 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in the state. Despite that Wisconsin was just named the 8th lowest state in the country for new diagnosis.