Camden County Proactively Addresses Reported Rise in Newly Diagnosed HIV Cases Among Injection Drug Users

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(Gloucester Township, NJ) – Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services (CCDHHS) was notified by the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) that between February 1 and April 30, 10 people in and around Camden County, who have histories of injection drug use, were newly diagnosed with HIV.

“The Camden County Department of Health and Human Services actively reaches out to at-risk individuals to provide them with important information and vital resources to prevent the spread of HIV infection,” Rodriguez said. “The Camden County Health Clinic offers free and confidential testing, along with education, counseling and referral programs.”

Camden County provides free anonymous/confidential HIV counseling and testing at two regional health clinics in Bellmawr and Camden:

Bellmawr Clinic
35 East Browning Rd.
Bellmawr, NJ 08031
Mondays 8:30 am -6:30pm

CCCS (Camden County Clinical Services – Basement)
600 Market Street
Camden, NJ
Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:30am -4:00pm

“We also provide mobile services in our Camden County Connection Health Van that travels to underserved communities. We regularly reach out to our homeless population and provide health screenings and referrals at local homeless shelters,” Rodriguez said. “In addition, we are working with our homeless initiative partners and our Additions Awareness Taskforce to better serve those who use injection drugs by connecting them with HIV and other health services.”

CCDHHS can arrange same-day transportation to HIV treatment if needed and will refer consumers to PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis) counselors. HIV positive individuals are referred to Early Intervention Programs for standard blood profiles (Viral Load and CD4) and partner notification.

The CCDHHS encourages that the following stops be taken to prevent transmission of HIV:

  • If you inject drugs, never share needles.
  • Utilize local syringe access programs to access sterile, unused injection equipment*. New Jersey residents can purchase up to 10 syringes a day from a local pharmacy without prescription.
  • Practice protected sex. Free condoms are available from the CCDHHS.
  • Individuals who are at increased risk for HIV should consider prevention medicines, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
  • At-risk individuals should get full testing to detect any other infections they may have—including Hepatitis C and sexually transmitted infections.

* Camden Area Health Education Center (AHEC) (Mobile Site)
Camden Syringe Access Program – Lifeworks
2600 Mt. Ephraim Avenue (by Produce Market)
Camden, NJ 08104
856-963-2432 Ext. 219
Hours of operation: Monday: 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM & Thursday: 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM