Free HIV testing available this week

Medical Feature

Almost 7,300 individuals are living with HIV in B.C. They take daily, oral medication said to be over 90 per cent effective in preventing the conversion to AIDS.

Tom McAulay, vice-chair of the board of directors for the Positive Living Society of B.C., said that the access to PrEP has taken a burden off of the HIV-positive community, for the first time since the epidemic began. "This collaboration normalizes HIV testing as part of everyday life, while helping to educate about these advances". The CDC recommends that anyone from the age of 13 to 64 gets tested at least once in their lifetime. Young people are typically most likely to not know they are HIV positive.

The Fort Wayne/Allen County Dept. of Health will be offering free rapid HIV testing from 11:30 a.m.to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Walgreens, 110 E. Creighton Ave. This is the lowest number of new diagnoses in over 20 years.

It's an influence public figures like Henderson can use to bring the conversation of HIV prevention and treatment to the forefront; a cause advocates like Jeremy Hobbs has been championing for years.

More than 2,000 people in this province have benefited from the expanded coverage of drugs that can prevent HIV infection. In 2017, more than 340,000 HIV tests were conducted through Florida's registered HIV test sites.

In recognition of National HIV Testing Day on June 27th Basic of NW Florida will have testing all day from 8 am to 8 pm.

"The only way to know for certain if you're HIV-positive is to get tested", Lacasse noted.

Philip said the state has two programs it plans to roll out to all 67 county health departments by the end of 2018.

The cutting-edge strategies are called PrEP and PEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis and post-exposure prophylaxis. If someone is exposed to the virus, it can help keep HIV from taking hold.

According to a press release from the Ministry of Health, the event "offers an opportunity for the general public, inclusive of people who may feel they are at risk or been exposed to the virus, to receive professional counselling and fast and efficient testing".

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