State Health Department Urges Testing for Those Possibly Exposed to HIV and STDs

HIV - Infected Nassau Resident Charged with Having Sex with a Minor

Free anonymous and confidential testing is available

ALBANY, N.Y. (Jan. 28, 2009) - The New York State Health Department is urging anyone who has had sexual contact with Nassau County resident Robert Musmacker, who has told authorities he is infected with HIV, to be tested for HIV, other sexually transmitted diseases, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C as soon as possible. Additionally, anyone who has had sexual contact with other persons who may have had sexual contact with Mr. Musmacker should also be tested.

Mr. Musmacker, a 36-year-old white male, was arrested in West Babylon on December 28, 2008, by the New York State Police. A Suffolk County grand jury has indicted him on charges of reckless endangerment and related crimes for sexual conduct involving a minor, and he was ordered held on $1 million bond.

State and county health officials are asking anyone who had sexual contact with Mr. Musmacker or anyone who has had sexual contact with others who may have had sexual contact with Mr. Musmacker to call 1-800-462-6786 in Nassau and Suffolk Counties or the statewide HIV testing hotline at 1-800-541-AIDS in English and 1-800-233-SIDA in Spanish to arrange for testing. Free testing for HIV is available on an anonymous or confidential basis. Suffolk County residents may also contact the county health department's STD Unit at 631-853-2264 and obtain information about the county's 10 community health centers at 631-439-1551. Nassau County residents with questions may reach their county health department's HIV bureau at 516-227-9423 and obtain information about the county's four community health centers.

HIV is transmitted when infected blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or breast milk gets into the bloodstream of another person through unprotected sex or sharing of syringes for injection drug use.

An HIV test is the only way to find out if a person has HIV. People infected with HIV may have no symptoms for 10 or more years and may not know they are infected. It is essential to know your HIV status to receive quality care and prevention services.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all persons between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested at least once for HIV. Persons with specific questions about testing should contact their health care provider.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are also spread by unprotected sex. If you have had unprotected sex, it is important to get tested to receive treatment. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are some of the most commonly reported STDs in adolescents and young adults and, if left untreated, can lead to serious reproductive health problems.

Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can also be sexually transmitted and can cause lifelong infection, cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure and death. Both Hepatitis B and C are spread by contact with the blood of an infected person; usually by needle stick injury or sexual contact, but not through casual contact.

STD clinic locations can be found by linking to the following webpage: http://www.nyhealth.gov/diseases/communicable/std/clinics/. More information about HIV, STDs, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and testing is available on the State Department of Health website at www.nyhealth.gov.