Health Resource: Do You Know Your Status?
sexual health is of the utmost importance especially for young adults.
We all want to feel we can make healthy educated decisions.Here to help on the journey for a complete holistic wellbeing is Planned Parenthood, the Student Health Offices and ,with much anticipation, the Cascade AIDS Project.
The Cascade AIDS Project began in September 1987, and its initial purpose was to provide basic HIV/AIDS information to the general public. Initially, they were concerned with transmission, risk evaluation and testing, which, surprisingly, after ten years of intense media coverage, still represent a significant portion of the total calls coming in.
The Cascade AIDS project states “We have also taken on the role of being a statewide information and referral line for sexually transmitted infections [other than HIV].”
They have also shifted their focus to Chlamydia, which has become epidemic in Oregon with 500 new cases being diagnosed every month, which, sadly to say, the infection rarely shows symptoms in women, until it has progressed to the point of causing permanent damage to the reproductive system.
Most callers who fear exposure to HIV don’t realize this also creates a much higher risk of contracting other diseases as well. The AID’s project takes this potential risk very seriously, saying, “Our existing information systems and caller base, coupled with the fact that here is no other STI phone information system in the state, prompted us to move towards providing this service.”
In addition to providing information, they also work to connect callers with services within their county. They have a resource database to provide testing locations, LGBTQ support, alcohol and drug treatment, mental health services, resources for basic needs, as well as HIV care and over-all general support.
They have also started providing “call tally” reports specific to any of the state’s 8 Ryan White regions, and even specific to county and gender, this giving service providers in those areas a better idea of what questions are being asked that part area, helping them to determine what services are needed.
Currently, they’re working on a program called Oregon Reminders. A free and confidential service that provides customized text or email reminders for when to get tested.
The Cascade AIDS project has been working hard at keeping people safe and happy as they enjoy their lives with their loved ones. For more information, visit their website at http://www.oregonreminders.org.