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DOH Leon Marks National HIV Testing Day

By Pamela Saulsby

June 24, 2022

DOH Leon Observes National HIV Testing Day 

 

 

June 24, 2022

 

DOH Leon Observes National HIV Testing Day 2022

 

Tallahassee, Fla. — On June 27, the Florida Department of Health (DOH Leon) observes National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) to emphasize and encourage HIV testing. This year’s theme, ““HIV Testing is Self-care,” highlights the message that knowledge of status is the gateway to engaging in prevention or treatment services that enable individuals regardless of their status to life a long and healthy life.

DOH Leon works with a diverse group of healthcare and community partners to help provide all citizens access to the right tools for learning their HIV status and staying healthy. “We encourage our citizens 13 and older to get tested for HIV. There remain too many people in Leon County living with HIV who do not know their status. Early linkage to care and the use of antiretroviral treatment suppresses the virus, extending life and reducing transmission of the virus,” said Sandon S. Speedling, MHS, CPM, CPH, DOH Leon Interim Health Officer.

In 2019, 4,584 people were diagnosed with HIV in Florida. At the end of that year, 116,689 Floridians were confirmed to be living with HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that an additional 18,200 Floridians were living with HIV but unaware of it. Earlier diagnosis of HIV leads to more successful treatment, so getting tested and learning your HIV status is crucial to your health.

People can reduce their risk for HIV by using appropriate prevention strategies, such as using condoms, getting tested regularly and taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Contact a health care provider to find out if PrEP is recommended for you.

In Honor of NHTD, the Leon County HIV Program will be participating in community events for 8 days of HIV testing and community engagement throughout the Big Bend area beginning Thursday, June 23.  Program specialists will offer rapid and confidential HIV and STI testing, educational materials, and promotional giveaways.  All testing services are no cost, and anyone aged 13 and up can get tested. Results are available in 20 minutes or less.

DOH Leon’s Regional HIV/AIDS Prevention team will mark the official National HIV Testing Day (June 27) at two locations:

Lindy’s Fried Chicken
2120 Crawfordville Highway
Crawfordville, FL 32327
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Neighborhood Medical Center
Karaoke Night and HIV Testing
872 W. Orange Avenue
Tallahassee, FL  32310
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Free and confidential rapid testing is always available at the Leon County Health Department, 37 registered testing sites in Leon County, and at 97 testing locations throughout the Capital region.  Visit https://knowyourhivstatus.com/get-tested/ to find a rapid testing location near you. 

Did you know that you can get a free rapid At-Home HIV test kit send to your home?  The test you’ll receive in the mail is an OraQuick Oral Antibody test; it is performed by placing a swab on the lining of your mouth. Results take 20 minutes to process. You can request yours today by visiting https://knowyourhivstatus.com/get-a-free-home-testing-kit/

For more information, call 1-800-FLA-AIDS; en Espanol, 1-800-545-SIDA; in Creole, 1-800-AIDS-101.

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Written by:

Pamela Saulsby | Public Information Officer