Free HIV, syphilis testing available June 27
One in seven Americans with HIV don’t know they have it, according to the Texas 2016 HIV Surveillance Report.
“It is important to know your HIV status,” said Eugenia James, Galveston County Health District (GCHD) HIV/ AIDS program manager. “When someone is diagnosed, they can then manage the virus with early intervention and treatment.”
In an effort to help, GCHD will offer free HIV and syphilis testing on National HIV Testing Day, observed Wednesday, June 27.
Of the 254 counties in Texas, Galveston County ranks 11th when it comes to the number of people living with HIV, listed at 970 in the Texas 2016 HIV Surveillance Report.
The report, published by the Texas Department of State Health Services, includes information on HIV infection, AIDS and people living with HIV cases diagnosed Dec. 31, 2016-June 30, 2017. The number of people living with HIV includes records through Dec. 31, 2016.
“We also want to help individuals with HIV get the medical care they need to stay healthy and avoid passing HIV to others,” James said. “It’s important to get the facts, get tested and get involved.”
Testing will be available 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Mid-County Annex at 9850-B Emmett F. Lowry Expressway in Texas City. Participants should register at the tents in front of each building on the day of the event. All services are private, confidential and free.
Free sexual health items and counseling will be available for those who are tested. Testing is open to everyone, regardless of city of residency. Access Care of Coastal Texas (ACCT) will join in hosting the event.
GCHD is partnering with ACCT later that Wednesday to host free HIV, syphilis and Hepatitis C testing 4-10 p.m. at Rumors Beach Bar, 3102 Seawall Blvd. in Galveston.
The Texas 2016 HIV Surveillance Report also shows there were 45 HIV and 19 AIDS diagnoses in Galveston County during the Dec. 31, 2016-June 30, 2017 reporting timeframe. Galveston County ranks 12th and 13th in HIV and AIDS diagnoses, respectively, out of the state’s 254 counties. The county reported 1,566 cumulative HIV diagnoses, which accounts for all cases in the county, living or deceased, at an HIV or AIDS diagnosis through Dec. 31, 2016.
For more information, call (409) 765-2594.
What: Free HIV and syphilis testing
When: Wednesday, June 27
Where: Mid-County Annex, 9850-B Emmett F. Lowry Expressway in Texas City
When: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Info: (409) 765-2594