The Hartford County Health Department has announced that it will offer anonymous, free of cost HIV testing in the view of the 2015 National HIV Testing Day.
This free service will take place in Friday June 26 2015 and timings will be from 9am to 3pm at the Health Services Division office on the top floor of 1 N. Main St. in Bel Air.
June 27 is National HIV Testing Day. It is an annual observance to promote HIV testing created in 1995 by the National Association of People with AIDS. It draws awareness among all populations and encourages everyone to be tested, the Health Department said in a news release.
There are an estimated 29,477 Marylanders diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, while another 15.8 percent who are HIV positive remain undiagnosed and are not aware of their status, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The benefits of taking the HIV test can help early diagnosis of the disease and can help an individual get appropriate care and counseling.
Cindy Dawson, director of the Harford Health Department’s Health Services Division urged all individuals who have never been tested, and have had any type of unprotected sexual contact or shared a needle for any reason in their lifetime to the HIV test.
Individuals living with HIV unaware and not receiving treatment may not experience symptoms of AIDS for ten or more years.
“Knowing your HIV status is the first step in taking control of your life,” she said. “Getting appropriate care and medical management for HIV disease allows many individuals to lead full lives, working and raising their families. Knowledge of a positive HIV test result allows individuals to begin dealing with the disease and taking charge of their health.”
“Knowledge is power, and HIV counseling and testing provides everyone with the power to protect their own health as well as the health of their partners.” Harford Health Officer Susan Kelly said.
“All of us envision a day when Harford County has no new HIV infection,”
The Harford County Health Department offers free HIV testing throughout the year by appointment, and can schedule an appointment if they are unable to take advantage of services on June 27th.
For additional information, contact the Harford County Health Department Division of Health Services at 410-638-3060 or visit the Health Department website at http://www.harfordcountyhealth.com.