prevention & education

Preventing HIV Disease

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) provides targeted, science-based prevention programs throughout the state designed to prevent the spread of HIV in our communities. In designing programs and strategies for preventing the spread of HIV, DHSS promotes the goals of the Center for Disease Control (CDC). In 2003, the CDC launched its initiative "Advancing HIV Prevention: New Strategies for a Changing Epidemic," aimed at reducing barriers to early diagnosis of HIV infection and increasing access to quality medical care, treatment, and ongoing prevention services. The HIV initiative emphasizes the use of proven public health approaches to reduce the incidence and spread of disease. The objectives of the initiative are:

  1. Make HIV testing a routine part of medical care
  2. Implement new models for diagnosing HIV infections outside medical settings.
  3. Prevent new infections by working with people diagnosed with HIV and their partners.
  4. Further decrease mother-to-child HIV transmission.

The HIV Prevention Program consists of four primary components: Community Planning, Health Education/Risk Reduction, HIV Counseling and Testing, And Partner Counseling and Referral Services. These components work in conjunction with HIV Care programs to provide comprehensive services to those populations who are most at risk for becoming infected with HIV and those who are already infected with HIV.

The statewide community planning process is one of the primary means to ensure that HIV prevention programming will have broad community input, overview and endorsement. The Community Planning Group process consists of the following components: community assessment of HIV prevention needs, prioritization of populations most at risk for contracting HIV using epidemiological data, research and prioritization of behavioral interventions designed to reduce risk, and evaluation of these interventions to ensure efficacy. Click here for more information about the Community Planning Process.

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Information and Provider Directory

“PrEP” stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. The word “prophylaxis” means to prevent or control the spread of an infection or disease. The goal of PrEP is to prevent an HIV-negative person from acquiring HIV from an HIV-positive partner. This is done by taking one pill every day. When taken every day, PrEP has been found to reduce the likelihood of HIV infection by up to 90%. This effectiveness increases when combined with condoms which are also necessary for the prevention of other sexually transmitted diseases. Click here for more PrEP resources or to find a provider.