As Pride celebrations kick off in the region, Buncombe County Health and Human Services celebrates inclusivity and highlights the importance of taking care of yourself and others. Services to support everyone’s reproductive health are available in Buncombe County for anyone seeking more information about reproductive health, testing, treatment, and more.
We encourage you to take pride in your sexual health by following simple preventative measures and getting vaccinated and tested often.
Getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to prevent certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs) which, if left untreated, can lead to increased risk of HIV infection, long-term pelvic/abdominal pain, infertility, pregnancy complications, and other serious health problems. Click here to learn more about STIs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are millions of new STI infections in the U.S. every year. While anyone who is sexually active can get an STI, some groups are more affected. These include adolescents and young adults, gays, bisexuals, and other men who have sex with men, pregnant women and infants, and BIPOC communities.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) – HPV is the most common STI in the U.S. HPV infections can be prevented by the HPV vaccine, a safe and effective method for avoiding HPV-related health problems like genital warts and some cancers. The vaccine is recommended for individuals starting as early as 9 years of age and continuing through 26 years of age. It also may be recommended for some adults 27 – 45 years of age. For more information on HPV and who can get the vaccine, visit this website.
Hepatitis A – Hepatitis A is a virus that is transmitted through oral contact with feces through contaminated food or water sources, or through sexual contact. The CDC recommends the hepatitis A vaccine for all children and adolescents and those at increased risk including international travelers, men who have sex with men, people who inject or use drugs, those with occupational risk for exposure, those who may have personal contact with an international adoptee, and individuals who are unhoused. For more information on Hepatitis A and who can get the vaccine, visit this website.
Hepatitis B – Hepatitis B is a virus that is most often transmitted through sexual contact and passed on by body fluids including semen, vaginal secretions, and blood. It can cause a mild illness but can include complications such as scarring of the liver and even liver cancer. The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended starting at birth through 59 years of age, and possibly beyond, depending on risk factors. It is recommended for sex partners and household contacts of individuals who have hepatitis B; anyone who is sexually active but not in a long-term, monogamous relationship; anyone who is treated for an STI; men who have sex with men; people who inject drugs; and individuals with chronic liver disease or HIV. For more information on Hepatitis B and who can get the vaccine, visit this website.
Buncombe County Health and Human Services (BCHHS) has HPV and Hepatitis A and B vaccinations available at low and no cost for men, women, transgender, and non-binary individuals. In addition, the clinic provides testing on a variety of STIs including chlamydia, HIV, gonorrhea, herpes and more, as well as treatment, consultation with an expert, free condoms and lube, reproductive health referrals and more.
Call 828-250-5096 to schedule an appointment for vaccines at the BCHHS Clinic at 40 Coxe Avenue in Asheville. The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and also offers walk-in hours.
Learn more about the clinic by visiting this website.