One in five people with HIV doesn’t know it, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The Gaston County Health Department seeks to ensure everyone knows their HIV status and, if infected, is taking medications to promote a longer, healthier life and reduce the spread of the disease to others.
That’s why the Health Department’s Gaston HIV Outreach Program (GHOP) is holding a drop-in testing event 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. June 27 at the Health Department’s main branch at 991 W. Hudson Blvd.
“Statistically, some 240,000 people in the United States do not know they are living with HIV infections,” said Health Director Chris Dobbins. “That number is absolutely staggering. The thing we want people to remember is that only good can come from knowing your HIV status. If you’re positive, you can obtain disease treatments to maintain your good health, and you can avoid infecting others.”
June 27 is National HIV Testing Day, an annual campaign targeted at encouraging everyone to “Take the test; take control.” The Health Department’s testing event is first-come, first-served; no appointment is necessary. HIV and syphilis tests will be conducted at the event. The tests use a single needle-stick in the arm so pain is minimal. Results will not be available the same day, but patients will be given a phone number to call for their results in approximately two weeks. Tests are free and completely confidential.
HIV tests are available every weekday at the Health Department, by appointment and drop-in. National HIV Testing Day is designed to educate the community and provide additional testing opportunities.
For information about HIV testing at the Health Department, contact 704-853-5142.