A roundup of events in South Florida
June 27 marks the 20th National HIV Testing Day. On this day, many organizations and health clinics host health fairs, education workshops, and extend HIV testing hours to promote HIV testing.
The day was created in 1995 by the National Association of People Living with AIDS (NAPWA) to encourage people at risk to get tested and minimize the stigma associated with HIV testing. NAPWA organizes National HIV Testing Day in partnership with the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other entities across the country and is celebrated every year on June 27.
NAPWA’s theme on National HIV Testing Day is “Take the test, Take Control.” An estimated 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, and that number grows by almost 50,000 every year according to the CDC. Additionally, one in seven people who have HIV don't know that they have the virus. If they are unaware that they are carrying the virus, they aren't getting the medical care they need to stay healthy and avoid passing HIV to others.
HIV medicines can keep people with HIV healthy for many years and reduce the chance of transmitting the virus to their sex partners so it is vital to get tested. The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care, and that people with certain risk factors get tested more often. Gay and bisexual men, who are sexually active, should get tested at least once a year, but even more frequent testing is recommended depending on their risks.
In recognition of National HIV Testing Day, there will be several local events held.
On Friday June 26, free rapid HIV testing will be provided at the Government Center Metrorail Station, 101 NW First Street in Miami from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Broward House is hosting its National HIV Testing Day event with free HIV testing, refreshments, and music at 2800 N Andrews Avenue in Wilton Manors from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., also on June 26.
Comprehensive AIDS Program (CAP) at FoundCare is observing the day with free HIV tests, free health screenings, and a community yard sale on June 27 from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. at FoundCare, 2330 South Congress Avenue in West Palm Beach.
Also in West Palm Beach, Urban League of Palm Beach County is offering free rapid HIV Testing with services available in English, Spanish, and Creole at 2107 Tamarind Avenue from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., June 27.
The Pride Center at Equality Park will have free HIV testing from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 2040 N. Dixie Highway in Wilton Manors, June 27.
Care Resource is collaborating with Bethel Apostolic Temple, the Rev. Darryl Baxter, and Churches United for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS to host United For Care health fair, at 1855 NW 119th St., from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 27. A variety of free health screenings and community services will be offered.
For more information visit www.cdc.gov.