The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 8 people who are living with HIV in the United States are unaware of their infection. That’s why Lowcountry AIDS Services is offering additional HIV testing events as part of National HIV Testing Day on June 27.
The theme for this year’s event is “Doing It” and is aimed at motivating all adults to get tested for HIV and know their status. As part of the Act Against AIDS initiative, “Doing It” delivers the message that HIV testing should be a part of everyone’s regular health routine to keep themselves and their community healthy.
LAS regularly offers free, confidential HIV testing from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday at its office, 3547 Meeting Street Road. The following additional free community HIV testing events are part of the National HIV Testing Day efforts:
- Dudley’s on Ann in downtown Charleston: 9 p.m. to midnight Thursday, June 23
- Walgreens, 7501 Rivers Ave, North Charleston, SC 29406: 3-7 p.m. Thursday, June 23 and Friday, June 24 and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 25
- Trident Technical College on Rivers Avenue: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, June 27 in Building 410 on the Main Campus (Rooms 212-214)
Also during the month of June, any African-American men who sleep with men who get a HIV test will be entered into a drawing for one $50 Visa gift card and one of two $20 Target gift cards.
LAS conducted 1,711 HIV tests in 2015. Of those, 39 were HIV positive with the majority being young African-American men. This number is nearly a 200 percent increase from recorded HIV-positive results in 2014. So far in 2016, LAS has recorded four HIV-positive cases, two of which were diagnosed with AIDS.
“Testing is the key to fighting HIV,” said Bradley Childs, executive director for LAS. “Once people are diagnosed, we can quickly help them access medical care and treatment. We can discuss prevention and they can help in stopping the spread of HIV. Plus, those who are diagnosed with HIV early are more likely to respond well to treatment and live healthily for a long time.”
No appointment is needed for any of the HIV testing events or to come by the LAS office. For questions, call 843-747-2273.
About Lowcountry AIDS Services
Lowcountry AIDS Services is nonprofit organization serving men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. LAS provides case management, access to medical care, housing assistance, financial assistance, nutritional assistance and legal assistance along with an array of other supportive services to hundreds in the Charleston area. LAS also works to prevent this epidemic through education, media campaigns, community outreach and free, daily HIV/STD testing. For more information, visit aids-services.com.