Free HIV screenings set for National HIV Testing Day in Del

Glen Mclaughlin
June 28, 2018

"One of the most significant things that drives HIV infections, and chronic disease of all kinds, is poverty", said Dix. "People living with HIV who take medicine as prescribed can achieve an undetectable viral load".

He says it's vital to get tested regularly because if ignored it can turn into AID's, the final stage of HIV. "There are many, many people in the St. Pete area who are positive and are not in care, so our priority is to get them into care for their own personal health but also to break the chain of infection". The clinic, located at 517 N. Rampart St., does offer walk-in HIV testing - but staff recommends making an appointment to reduce wait times. For people who don't have HIV but remain at high risk for the virus, the Florida Department of Health is offering the HIV prevention drug for free.

"All it is is a little finger prick", said Gigi Robinson with New Horizons, "do a little brush, suck up a little blood, and you'll know your results". HRSA's Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and the Health Center Program can help people get the care and treatment they need and help them find a local provider. It is expected more than 1,500 people will participate in the initiative and the pilot project will lead to more newly identified patients with HIV in the month of June across the country, compared to other months of the year.

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The Washtenaw County Health Department promotes health and works to prevent disease and injury in our community.

The Department of Health, as part of its campaign to eliminate HIV in Florida, will offer Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) medication at no cost in all 67 county health departments by the end of 2018, according to a press release. The activities being held this week are in support of National Testing Day and Regional HIV Testing Day observed on 27 June.

Officials say the National HIV Testing Day aims to reach individuals at risk of HIV exposure who lack adequate sexual health resources and capacity for HIV testing, including members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, off-reserve Indigenous communities and people who use drugs.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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