Free walk-in HIV testing will be provided, and no appointment is necessary.
People who are unable to visit one of the testing events, can make an appointment by calling 616-632-7171.
People at risk of HIV exposure can find out in less than a minute Wednesday if they have the virus. PrEP, a daily oral antiretroviral drug, is effective in reducing new cases of HIV; in clinical trials, its effectiveness has been between 92 and 99 per cent. “If HIV is undetectable for six months, it becomes untransmittable”. Also, HIV testing reminds individuals to take precautionary actions to prevent contracting or spreading the virus.
With early diagnosis, individuals can begin appropriate treatment and care resulting in better health outcomes.
The study’s authors says an estimated 15% of people with HIV do not know about their infection, and are responsible for about 40% of the HIV transmissions each year. “Clinicians who have a routine way to assess sexual risk are more likely to offer HIV testing”, said Cyprian Wejnert, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. During the time between the test and results certified counselors will provide advice on protecting yourself and others from HIV. In fact, approximately half of those with HIV achieved viral suppression through lifesaving medications.
“A lot of people know where you can be tested, but there might be a stigma”, says Glen Pietrandoni, Senior Director, Patient Care and Advocacy, at Walgreens.
Wednesday is National HIV Testing Day and free HIV testing is available today in Jacksonville. The most common ways are from unprotected sex, intravenous drug use, or at birth.
“We do not want people to be fearful of testing and finding out if they are HIV positive”, he said.
“When one in seven may be unaware of their HIV infection, that’s a problem”, said Murphy. ‘We do have a rise especially in our younger population.
CAN Community Health staff said it’s crucial that everyone knows their status.