In order to encourage people to get tested, the Department of Health in Orange and Seminole Counties are joining community partners to host several events in observance of National HIV Testing Day this Friday, June 27, 2014. The theme of this year’s campaign is “Take the Test, Take Control” which focuses on the importance of informing people to discover their HIV status and learn about access to prevention and healthcare services.
In Orange County, free HIV testing will be available from 12 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Walgreens at 2420 East Colonial Drive on Friday, June 27, 2014. Free BMI, glucose and blood pressure tests will also be available. The event is sponsored by Walgreens, Heart of Florida United Way, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County and the Central Florida AIDS Planning Consortium.
In Seminole County, free HIV testing will be available at the health department at 400 West Airport Boulevard, Sanford from 8-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.
“Testing is so important, because routine HIV testing protects individuals, partners and the community’s health,” said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, director of the Department of Health in Orange County.
“Remember, AIDS-related deaths occur when people who are infected do not receive the testing, treatment, and care they need,” said Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Officer of the Department of Health in Seminole County.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care and that some people with risk factors get tested more often. Gay and bisexual men, people with more than one sex partner, people with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and people who inject drugs are at high risk and should get tested at least once a year.
This year marks the 20th annual National HIV Testing Day, a time to promote one of our best tools for HIV prevention. Too many people—one in six—who are living with HIV are not aware of it. That means they are not getting the treatment they need to stay healthy and may pass the virus on to others without knowing it.
For more information, on National HIV Testing Day, go to http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/aids/index.html.