HIV Case Prompts Alert in Lubbock Schools - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/11/05

HIV Case Prompts Alert in Lubbock Schools

LISD and Lubbock health departments have issued an alert to all junior high and high school students and their parents. They are investigating reports that a junior high student infected with HIV is having sex with other students.

County officials are asking all sexually active teens to get tested for HIV right away. The warning came through a letter sent home from the schools asking sexually active teens to get tested.

The process begins first off by trying to get students to the clinic or to their doctor. Lubbock County Health Official Tommy Camden says they know there's more than one student that's in the school system that has the virus. "The student has not let partner know they are HIV positive, and the partner has additional partners as well."

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Lubbock County Health now feels other students may be at risk, which is why they want sexually active students to come in and get tested. The process is simple, fill out the paperwork, talk to a counselor, and then have blood drawn. They'll ask the teen if they've ever engaged in sex or drug abuse, which are really the only two ways HIV is transmitted.

According to Texas state law, the process is secure and confidential. Even when the results come back, students do not have to disclose the information to anyone.

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After the results are in, the number of cases will help county health officials determine where to go from here, and find out how they can begin helping those infected with treatments.

The health department is located on 1902 Texas Avenue. The tests are free for at-risk students, and the health department will have the testing facilities open special hours on Tuesdays and Fridays from 8:30 am to 4:00 in the afternoon throughout the rest of this month.

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