PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In the past year and a half, 42 new cases of HIV infections have been identified in Multnomah County.
Most new cases are believed to be new infections among people who inject drugs, according to the Multnomah County Health Department.
The number of cases is a large increase from only 25 cases involving drug use reported in 2016 and 2017 combined.
The health department urges people who may have been exposed through sharing needles or sex with high-risk partners to get tested for HIV. Anyone who tests positive will be connected with treatment and support.
People who are at risk but test negative can also get PrEP medication at the Multnomah County STD clinic.
“We don’t know yet if this is a short-term increase or longer-term trend,” said Dr. Jennifer Vines, Multnomah County Deputy Health Officer, “the hope is that more testing will link people to the care they need and stop the spread to others.”
Other concerns for people at risk for HIV are syphilis and Hepatitis A.
There are several places in the Portland area where drug users can get syringes and sterile products to protect themselves.
From the Multnomah County Health Department:
Multnomah County Syringe Exchange: Sterile injection and safer sex supplies are distributed free at mobile syringe exchange sites across the county.
Multnomah County Harm Reduction Clinic: Sterile injection and safer sex supplies are distributed free at this walk-in clinic Monday and Thursday, 11a.m. to 7 p.m., 12425 NE Glisan St.
Outside In Medical Clinic: operates a syringe exchange through its downtown clinic and in partnership with Multnomah and Clackamas Counties.
Portland People’s Outreach Project: Volunteer-run all-volunteer group provides clean syringes, Naloxone and other harm reduction supplies Friday, Saturdays and Sundays. Check the schedule for details. PPOP is not operated or funded by Multnomah County.