Prevention

The Communicable Disease Unit of the Teton County Health Department works not only to treat and care for people living with infectious diseases, but also to prevent them. We do so in a number of ways, including community outreach and education. If you are a local business, school, community group, or organization looking for education on prevention of communicable diseases, including sexually transmitted infections, please reach out to us for free educational sessions or resources. 

Sexual Health Education and Outreach

In addition to one-on-one sexual health education in our Family Planning Clinic appointments, Teton County Health Department also employs a full-time sexual health educator. We offer resource sharing, lesson planning, curriculum development, and community outreach and education around sexual health. Topics include: HIV, STDs, pregnancy, healthy sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, puberty, condom confidence, and healthy relationships. We work with adults, teens, children starting in Kindergarten, people with intellectual development disabilities, and are trauma-informed. If you are interested in education, resources, an outreach table at your event, or curriculum development, please call us at 307-733-6401 and ask to speak to our Sexual Health Program Coordinator. 

Condom Dispenser Program

Teton County Health Department, through a partnership with Wyoming Department of Health, offers free condom dispensers to any interested business or organization. Dispensers come in multiple sizes, are clear plastic, and can be mounted on the wall. Our Sexual Health Program Coordinator is available to fill the dispensers as often as needed with free condoms provided by the Wyoming Department of Health. Or, condoms can be directly shipped to you and you can maintain the dispenser yourself. Call 307-733-6401 with any questions. 

HIV Prevention: PrEP and PEP

In addition to using condoms and dental dams to lower the risk of HIV transmission during sex, PrEP and PEP are both helpful prevention resources available through the Health Department. See our page on PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), the once-daily pill for those who are HIV negative that prevents HIV infection. Teton County Health Department also offers PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) a medication for those who are HIV negative but think they might have been exposed to HIV. See the CDC page on PEP for more information on post-exposure prophylaxis. 

Bloodborne Pathogens

Bloodborne pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses, are present in blood and bodily fluids and can cause disease in humans. The bloodborne pathogens of primary concern are hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.

Follow standard precautions to help prevent the spread of bloodborne pathogens and other diseases whenever there is a risk of exposure to blood or other body fluids. These precautions require that all blood and other body fluids be treated as if they are infectious. Standard precautions include maintaining personal hygiene and using personal protective equipment (PPE), engineering controls, work practice controls, and proper equipment cleaning and spill cleanup procedures.

Guidelines for Preventing Infection

To prevent infection, follow these guidelines:

  • Avoid contact with blood and other bodily fluids, including using condoms or dental dams during sexual activity
  • If injecting drugs, do not share needles or works
  • Do not participate in at-home or unprofessional tattoos or piercings
  • Use CPR breathing barriers, such as resuscitation masks, when giving ventilation (rescue breaths)
  • Wear disposable gloves whenever providing care, particularly if you may come into contact with blood or bodily fluids. Also wear protective coverings, such as a mask, eye wear and a gown, if blood or other bodily fluids can splash. Cover any cuts, scrapes or sores and remove jewelry, including rings, before wearing disposable gloves.
  • Change gloves before providing care to each different person
  • Remove disposable gloves without contacting the soiled part of the gloves and dispose of them in a proper container

Thoroughly wash your hands and other areas immediately after providing care. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer where hand-washing facilities are not available if your hands are not visibly soiled. When practical, wash your hands before providing care.

Steps to Reduce the Risk of Exposure

To reduce the risk of exposure, follow these engineering and work practice controls:

  • Use biohazard bags to dispose of contaminated materials, such as used gloves and bandages. Place all soiled clothing in marked plastic bags for disposal or cleaning. Biohazard warning labels are required on any container holding contaminated materials.
  • Use sharps disposal containers to place sharps items, such as needles.

For more information contact us at 307-733-6401 or by e-mail.