The Jackson County Health Department has a new tool to fight the spread of HIV.
It now offers people at risk of the disease a pill called Truvada.
The health department's director of HIV services Paula Clark says the pill stops about 95 percent of HIV through sexual transmission and almost 80 percent of needle transmission.
"When you do get infected with HIV it is attacking your immune system. It's attacking your T-cells, which are your fighter cells. When it gets into those fighter cells, then it replicates itself and just continues on and gets into another cell, another cell. So, Truvada stops the entry, stops the replication from happening, so it stops it in its tracks."
Clark says there around 30 new confirmed HIV cases each year in the southern 19 counties. But, she says that does not reflect the true number of infected people.
"The CDC will say take what you know you have and you've got about ten times that because they say one out of every 250 Americans have HIV and only one out of every 500 know it. So, there's far more out there than what out testing numbers show."
She says it also offers a free, monthly clinic for those with HIV.
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