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Department of Health León celebrates National HIV Testing Day

June 24, 2022

Department of Health León celebrates National HIV Testing Day 2022

Tallahassee, Florida – On June 27, the Florida Department of Health (DOH Leon) celebrates National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) to emphasize and encourage HIV testing. This year’s theme “HIV Testing is Self Help” underlines the idea that knowing one’s status is the key to participating in preventive or treatment services that enable people, regardless of their status, to live long and healthy lives.

DOH Leon works with a diverse group of health and community partners to help all citizens access the right tools to determine their HIV status and stay healthy. “We encourage our citizens aged 13 and over to get tested for HIV. There are still too many people living with HIV in Leon County who do not know their status. Seeking care early and using antiretroviral treatment suppresses the spread of the virus, prolonging life and reducing transmission of the virus. Sandon C. Speedling, MHS, CPM, CPH, DOH Leon, acting public health officer.

In 2019, 4,584 people were diagnosed with HIV in Florida. At the end of that year, 116,689 Florida residents were confirmed to be living with HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 18,200 more Florida residents were living with HIV but didn’t know it. Early HIV diagnosis leads to more successful treatment, so getting tested and knowing your HIV status is critical to your health.

People can reduce their risk of contracting HIV by using appropriate prevention strategies such as condom use, regular testing, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Check with your healthcare provider to see if PrEP is recommended for you.

In honor of NHTD, the Leon County HIV Program will be participating in community activities for 8 days of HIV testing and community engagement in the Big Bend area starting Thursday, June 23rd. Program specialists will offer rapid and confidential testing for HIV and STIs, as well as educational materials. and promotional gifts. All testing services are free and anyone aged 13 or over can be tested. Results are available in 20 minutes or less.

The León Department of Health Regional HIV/AIDS Prevention Team will celebrate the official National HIV Testing Day (June 27) at two locations:

Fried Chicken Lindy
2120 Crawfordville Highway
Crawfordville, FL 32327
from 10:00 to 14:00

District Medical Center
Karaoke night and HIV testing
872 W. Orange Avenue
Tallahassee, FL 32310
from 18:00 to 21:00

Free and confidential rapid testing is always available at the Leon County Department of Health, at 37 registered testing sites in Leon County, and at 97 testing sites throughout the metropolitan area. Visit https://knowyourhivstatus.com/get-tested/ to find the nearest express test site to you.

Did you know that you can get a rapid HIV test kit at home for free? The test you receive in the mail is the OraQuick Oral Antibody test; this is done by placing a swab on the lining of the mouth. Processing the results takes 20 minutes. 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:

Pamela Salsby | Public Information Officer

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