HEALTH OFFICIALS ENCOURAGE HIV TESTING FOR EVERYONE
June 23, 2015
PENSACOLA, FL – Each year the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recognize June 27 as National HIV Testing Day (NHTD). The theme of NHTD is “Take the Test, Take Control.” The purpose of NHTD is to encourage HIV testing within local communities.
- According to the Florida Department of Health HIV/AIDS Section, there are over 1,200 individuals living with HIV or AIDS in Escambia County, Florida.
- Approximately 20% of Floridians living with HIV are not aware of their positive status.
- It is estimated that almost half of new HIV infections are spread by persons who are living with HIV and are unaware of their positive status.
The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested for HIV at least once, with those at increased risk testing more frequently. Late diagnosis is associated with poorer health outcomes and more rapid disease progression. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to a longer, healthier life for those infected with HIV.
The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (FDOH-Escambia) is partnering with Walgreen’s and Greater Than AIDS, a leading national public information response to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic, to encourage community members to know their HIV status by offering free HIV testing in our community. This free HIV testing will be provided at the Walgreen’s store located at 700 North Pace Boulevard in Pensacola on the following days:
- Thursday, June 25 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Friday, June 26 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Saturday, June 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
FDOH-Escambia will provide trained counselors to conduct the testing, offering results within minutes. For additional information on HIV testing, treatment, and available services, please contact the Florida Department of Health Area 1 HIV/AIDS Program at 850-595-6345.
The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County, visit www.escambiahealth.com.