National HIV Testing Day

New Hanover County North CarolinaNew Hanover County, NC – It’s been over 30 years since the world first learned of HIV/AIDS. Since 1995, the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) has recognized June 27th as National HIV Testing Day.

On National HIV testing day, local organizations across the nation will encourage and promote early diagnosis. In the United States, over one million people are estimated to be living with HIV infection, and approximately 1 in 5 of those is unaware of their infection. Research shows that among those who test positive for HIV, at least 1 in 3 people have been tested too late to take full advantage of early treatment. Early HIV diagnosis is critical, so people who are infected can fully benefit from available life-saving treatments. Currently, almost 40 percent of people with HIV are not diagnosed until they already have developed AIDS.
New Hanover County is among the top leading counties in North Carolina for the highest number of living HIV cases and ranks 20th in the state for reported AIDS cases.

New Hanover County Health Department (NHCHD) encourages everyone to get tested to know their status. Taking actions such as getting tested annually, encouraging others to get tested and telling others the importance of getting tested can have an impact on the spread of HIV. The Health Department’s clinic provides free HIV testing. Call 910-798-6500 to make an appointment. Also, the HIV outreach program provides free HIV testing at various locations throughout the community, so if you or your organization are interested in hosting a HIV testing event, please call 910-798-6778.

The theme of this annual observance is “Take the Test, Take Control,” which sends a powerful message about learning one’s HIV status. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care.

In observance of National HIV Testing Day, the HIV Outreach program will be providing free HIV screenings at the Northside Peace Rally at Portia Hines Park (10th & Rankin Street) in Wilmington from 2 pm until 5pm. For more information, please contact the HIV Outreach Coordinator at (910) 798-6778.

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