Coastal Health District

News

Coastal Health District to Offer Free HIV Testing on World AIDS Day

October 31, 2011 - The Coastal Health District, in conjunction with the Georgia AIDS Coalition, will offer free HIV testing on World AIDS Day, Thursday, December 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Forsyth Park in Savannah. All testing will be done without the use of needles and results, available within 20 minutes, will be kept confidential. A candlelight vigil will be held at 6 p.m.

"A major component of preventing the spread of HIV is testing people so that they will know their status," said Susan Alt, Coastal Health District HIV Director. "This event will make it possible for people who don't know their status to get tested quickly and get any counseling they may need."

Georgia ranks fifth in the nation for newly diagnosed cases of HIV and Savannah ranks second in the state for reported cases of HIV. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one out of five people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States is unaware of their HIV status.

"People get tested every day for diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and a lot of other things that can be harmful to their health and HIV is no different," said Alt. "Educating yourself about your health is the first step in taking better control over it."

World AIDS Day is observed every year on December 1. This worldwide effort is designed to encourage public support and programming to prevent the spread of HIV infection; provide awareness and education about HIV/AIDS; and demonstrate compassion for those infected or affected by HIV.

For more information on the World AIDS Day testing event, please call Lakeya Pressley at 912-651-2251 or e-mail lnpressley@dhr.state.ga.us.

This program was made possible in part by a grant from the Georgia Department of Public Health, HIV Unit with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Click here to download a flyer about the event: World Aids Day Free HIV Testing 2011