Public Health & Preventing Disease

STD/HIV Prevention

RiverStone Health offers reliable and confidential testing and prevention services for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).  Because many STDs have few or no symptoms, people can unknowingly spread infections to others through sexual contact.  If you have symptoms of an STD, or if you have been exposed to an STD, contact a RiverStone Health infectious disease nurse at 406.651.6435 to learn more about confidential diagnosis and treatment options.

Follow these links to learn more about STDs and their prevention. This information should be used to help decide whether to seek medical care, but it is not intended for self-diagnosis.

Hepatitis Services

Hepatitis, a disease that harms the liver, can be spread through exposure to blood, contaminated food and water, contaminated needles or through sex with an infected person. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is an excellent resource for more information about hepatitis.

To help prevent the spread of hepatitis, RiverStone Health provides Hepatitis A and B immunizations on a sliding fee scale; free hepatitis C testing; free prevention information and presentations about Hepatitis. Call 406.247.3305 to learn more.

HIV/AIDS Services

More than 1.1 million Americans are infected with HIV and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in seven don’t know they are infected. Getting an HIV test is the only way to know if you have HIV.

RiverStone Health is committed to fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS and provides: free condom distribution; confidential partner notification, and internet partner notification (IPN).

RiverStone Health is also a Mountain West AIDS Education and Training Center, and provides education to healthcare professionals about HIV/AIDS.

The Ryan White Program at RiverStone Health provides medical assistance, treatment and case management for people living with HIV/AIDS.

How is HIV transmitted?

In the United States, HIV is mainly spread by having sex or sharing syringes and other injection equipment with someone who is infected with HIV. Substance use can contribute to HIV risks because alcohol and other drugs can lower people’s inhibitions and make them less likely to use condoms. HIV can be transmitted only in certain body fluids from a person who has HIV, including blood, semen, pre-seminal fluids, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids and breast milk.

HIV can also spread from a woman with HIV to her child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.

You can’t get HIV from casual contact with a person who has HIV, such as a handshake, a hug or a closed-mouth kiss. And you can’t get HIV from contact with objects such as toilet seats, doorknobs, or dishes used by a person who has HIV.

How can I reduce my risk of getting HIV?
  • Use condoms every time you have sex. 
  •  Limit your number of sexual partners.
  • Get tested and treated for STDs. Insist that your partners get tested and treated, too.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).  PrEP involves taking a specific HIV medicine every day to reduce the risk of getting HIV through sex or injection drug use. For more information, read Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). Medication can also be used to prevent HIV infection after exposure and to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
  • Don’t inject drugs. But if you do, use only sterile drug injection equipment and water and never share your equipment with others. For more information, read: https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/prevention.html
  • RISE syringe services operates Wednesday and Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. at RiverStone Health, providing new needles, safe injecting equipment and wraparound services.  No appointment necessary.  To learn more, call 406.651.6416 or email RISE@riverstonehealth.org

 

RiverStone Health
Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention
123 South 27th Street
Billings, Montana 59101
Phone: 406.247.3305

Hours: Monday – Friday, 8am-5pm