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Local News

June 27th is National HIV Testing Day

 

On June 27th every year, the U.S. celebrates National HIV Testing Day to raise awareness of the importance of getting tested for HIV. The Barry-Eaton District Health Department will be recognizing the importance of this day by encouraging everyone to know their HIV status and offering FREE and confidential walk-in HIV screenings. Walk-in screenings will be available at both health department locations in Charlotte and Hastings on June 27th from 1:00pm until 4:00pm. Individuals who get tested will receive a free gas card while supplies last.  

 

Around 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and one in seven people don't know they have it. In Michigan, 184 out of 100,000 people are living with HIV but only 54.5% of people have ever been tested. Getting tested, and knowing your HIV status is crucial as it leads to earlier treatment and protects others from the spread of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 90% of new cases could be prevented by testing and diagnosis.

 

The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13-64 get tested for HIV at least once. Women who are pregnant should be tested to protect their health and to prevent the spread of HIV to their baby. Those with certain risk factors should be tested at least once a year. These risk factors include:

  • People with more than one sexual partner
  • People that have contracted a sexually transmitted disease (STD)
  • People who inject drugs
  • Sexually active gay and bisexual men

 

The Barry-Eaton District Health Department offers free and confidential HIV screening year-round with an appointment during clinic hours. To make an appointment in Barry County call (269) 798-4133, or in Eaton County call (517) 541-2651. People may also receive HIV testing through their regular health care provider. To learn more about HIV and the importance of testing, visit http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/whatishiv.html.

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