This press release put out at the request of the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County.
ALACHUA COUNTY, FL – In honor of National HIV Testing Day, the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County is providing free HIV & STD screening at its Southwest Clinic (816 SW 64th Terrace, Gainesville) on June 25, 2015, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
National HIV Testing Day is an effort that encourages individuals to become proactive in their health and get tested for HIV. While testing is the main objective, counselors also seek to reduce the risk of infection by educating individuals on the risk factors associated with HIV transmission and promoting safe practices.
Every 9.5 minutes, someone in the United States is infected with HIV. This virus is not restricted to any specific race or population; therefore, no one is exempt from infection. By the end of 2013, it was estimated that 126,000 Floridians were living with HIV, but 1 in 7 people were unaware of their infection. An average of 5,500 Floridians is infected with HIV annually.
“Getting tested is the first step in taking care of your health and controlling the spread of HIV,” said Gay Koehler-Sides, HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator for Area 3/13. “Once you know your status, you can make informed decisions about your health. If you are positive, we can help get you into care and on HIV medications to improve your health and reduce the chance that you will transmit the virus to your partners.”
The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County supports National HIV Testing Day. Community-based organizations and other health care providers are encouraged to help prevent the spread of HIV by raising awareness, providing support, and offering testing during routine doctor visits.
Residents wishing find an HIV testing site should text their zip code to 477493, or visit the We Make the Change website.
For more information, visit the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County website or call 352-334-7960.
Media inquiries, contact Gay Koehler-Sides at 352-334-7965 or Gay.Koehler-Sides@flhealth.gov.