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National HIV Testing Day

By FDOH Escambia

June 20, 2016

Pensacola, Fla. – 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 for 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 more than 1,300 individuals living with HIV or AIDS in Escambia County, Florida.
  • Approximately 12.4 percent 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 being tested 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 persons infected with HIV.

To promote awareness and prevent HIV from spreading in our community, the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (FDOH-Escambia) is partnering with Walgreen’s, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and the Lakeview Center’s SHAPE/PHASE program to offer HIV testing at no cost at three upcoming events.

WHAT: Free HIV testing

WHEN: Thursday, June 23, 2016

           3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

           Friday, June 24, 2016

           3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

           Saturday, June 25, 2016

           10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

WHERE: Walgreen’s

             4497 Mobile Highway

             Pensacola, FL 32506

“Knowing your HIV status can not only save your life, but it can also prevent your loved ones from getting infected,” expresses Debbie Carty, FDOH-Escambia Area 1 HIV/AIDS Program Manager. “Remember that knowledge is power and having that knowledge allows you to take control of the disease rather than letting the disease control you.”

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.