Volusia County Offers Free Rapid HIV Testing

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The Volusia County Health Department (VCHD) is offering free rapid HIV testing at its clinic locations for National HIV Testing Day on Friday, June 26th.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 250,000 of the one million people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States are unaware of their HIV status.

National HIV Testing Day is an annual event that promotes human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) education and voluntary HIV counseling, testing, and referral to encourage persons at risk for HIV infection to know their HIV status and reduce their risks for HIV transmission.

“The Volusia County Health Department’s AIDS Program Office strongly recommends residents have routine HIV testing,” said Betty Coley, VCHD early intervention consultant. “HIV testing is a very important screening tool to reduce the rates of HIV transmission in Volusia and Flagler Counties. Rapid testing provides results in 20 minutes.”

Volusia HIV/AIDS FACTS

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* About 1407 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Volusia and Flagler Counties

* Volusia County ranks 8th statewide in reported HIV and AIDS cases for the first four months of 2009

* African Americans make up 52% of reported HIV cases in Volusia and Flagler counties

* About 87% of Volusia and Flagler Counties male HIV cases are from men having unprotected sex with men

* Trends show a rise in females and younger people with HIV

“We want people to know that we have funding and resources to care for people living with AIDS who may be unable to afford care and counseling,” said Patrick Forand, Area 12 AIDS Program Manager.

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