In honor of National HIV Testing Day, the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County is partnering with the Gainesville Housing Authority to provide free HIV testing from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the following dates and at the following locations:
June 27 - Woodland Park (190 S.E. 4th Street, Gainesville)
June 28 - Eastwood Meadow (925 S.E. 43rd Street, Gainesville)
June 29 - Pine Meadows (2626 East University Ave, Gainesville)
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.
An estimated 1.1 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 are an estimated 127,589 people living with HIV/AIDS in Florida as of December 31, 2015, and one in seven people infected with the virus are unaware of their status. In 2015, there were 4,868 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. If you are negative, we can provide education and resources to maintain your status, including information about our PrEP clinic.”
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.
Click to find an HIV testing site near you, or text your zip code to 477493.
For more information contact Gay Koehler-Sides at 352 334-7965 or Gay.Koehler-Sides@flhealth.gov.