Free HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis C testing available at June 29 health fair
More than 1,000 Galveston County residents and 90,700 Texans were known to be living with HIV at the end of 2017.
That’s an increase of 18 percent statewide over the past five years, according to the Texas 2017 HIV Surveillance Report, due to highly effective treatments that lengthen the lifespan of people with HIV.
According to the report, Galveston County had 1,025 people living with HIV as of Dec. 31, 2017. While the county’s ranking did not change since the 2016 report, the number of people living with the disease increased by 55.
“It’s important to know your status, said Eugenia James, Galveston County Health District (GCHD) HIV/ STD program manager. “The risk is in not knowing. Once you’ve been diagnosed, that’s when you can begin managing the virus with intervention and treatment. More and more people are living with HIV these days.
June 27 marks National HIV Testing Day, and in an effort to help Galveston County residents know their status, GCHD will offer free HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis C testing on Saturday, June 29 at a Community Health Fair at the Front Door Club, located at 6106 FM 1765 in Texas City. The health fair will be held 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Participants should register at the tents in front of each building on the day of the event. Free sexual health items and counseling will be available for those who are tested. Testing is open to everyone, regardless of city of residency. All services are private, confidential and free.
Of the 254 counties in Texas, Galveston County ranks 11th when it comes to the number of people living with HIV.
“More and more people are being tested,” James said. “That’s why you’re seeing an increase in reported people living with HIV across the state. It’s not because more people are being infected.”
GCHD’s HIV/ STD Services program protects the health and well-being of the community by educating the public through presentations, health fairs and community events. Staff also investigates STDs and assists individuals in obtaining diagnostic and treatment services, as well as locating and contacting sexual partners of people who have tested positive for HIV/STD.
GCHD’s program also provides outreach services to residents in Brazoria and Chambers counties. Efforts can continue for the partners of partners. Staff also conducts outreach activities including HIV testing parties and condom distribution.
Free HIV, Hepatitis C and Syphilis testing, condoms and education are available daily through GCHD to any county resident by appointment. All services are private, confidential and free, and can be scheduled by calling 409-465-2528.
What: Free HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis C testing
When: Saturday, June 29
Where: Front Door Club, 6106 FM 1765 in Texas City
When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Info: (409) 765-2594