Media Release

The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County Urges the Community to Get Tested for HIV

Monday, June 20, 2016 9:45 AM

​This press release published 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 partnering with Black AIDS Services and Education, Inc. (B.A.S.E.) to provide free HIV testing at Archer Family Health Care (16939 S.W. 134th Avenue, Archer) on June 27, 2016, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

National HIV Testing Day is an effort that encourages individuals to become proactive about their health and get tested for HIV. Counselors also educate individuals on the risk factors associated with HIV transmission and promote safe practices.

Almost 1.2 million people in the US are living with HIV. This virus is not restricted to any specific race or population; therefore, no one is immune from infection. There were 104,554 people living with HIV/AIDS in Florida as of January 31, 2014. About 16% of people infected with the virus are unaware of their status. In 2014, there were 6,132 newly reported cases of HIV infection in Florida.

“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 health care visits.

To find an HIV testing site near you, text your zip code to 477493 or visit the Stop the Spread website.

For more information about HIV services in Alachua County, please visitthe Florida Department of Health in Alachua County website.

For more information, contact Gay Koehler-Sides at 352-334-7965 or


  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).