Health Department raises awareness of National HIV Testing Day
There 11,081 Kentuckians with currently active HIV cases, says the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family services in a 2020 report. Of those cases, 100 were reported in Clark County.
In honor of National HIV testing Day on Sunday, June 27, the Clark County Health Department reminds the community that free HIV testing is offered year-round. National HIV Testing Day began in 1995 during the AIDS crisis of the 80s and 90s. The annual event aims to promote testing, educate about prevention and reduce stigma related to HIV.
With the theme “My Test, My Way,” the health department is highlighting the numerous testing options available. In addition to testing at a clinic or with a primary care physician, HIV testing kits can be purchased at local pharmacies to be used within the privacy of one’s home. These kits are also given out for free by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Other free testing services in the Clark County area can be searched on https://kirpky.wordpress.com/find-services/.
The CDC advises everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 to get tested for HIV at least once. HIV.gov advises testing every three-to-six months if an individual answers “yes” to the following questions:
- Are you a man who has had sex with another man?
- Have you had sex—anal or vaginal—with an HIV-positive partner?
- Have you had more than one sex partner?
- Have you injected drugs and shared needles or works (for example, water or cotton) with others?
- Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?
- Have you been diagnosed with, or sought treatment for, another sexually transmitted disease?
- Have you been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis or tuberculosis (TB)?
- Have you had sex with someone who could answer “yes” to any of the above questions or someone whose sexual history you don’t know?
“The earlier a reactive result is detected, the earlier the person can be linked to HIV care,” said Julie Moon, Clark County Health Department harm reduction coordinator, in a press release. “Early detection and early initiation of treatment is key to a better quality of life.”
Though National HIV Testing Day is observed on June 27, free HIV testing is available at the Clark County Health Department throughout the year. For additional details, Please contact Julie Moon at (859)774-4482.
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