National HIV Testing Day: Walgreens offering free rapid HIV screenings at select locations

National HIV Testing Day: Walgreens offering free rapid HIV screenings at select locations

CHICAGO (TOC) — On Nationwide HIV Testing Day, Howard Brown Well being partnered with Higher Than AIDS to offer free speedy HIV screenings at choose Walgreens areas.

“Getting examined for HIV is so necessary as a result of so as to finish the HIV epidemic, we need to be sure that everybody is aware of their standing,” Howard Brown Well being Supervisor Antonio Elizondo stated.

As of 2019, the CDC estimated as much as 13 p.c of the 1.2 million folks within the U.S. with HIV didn’t know they’d it. New HIV infections have declined lately.

Their information additionally discovered that the HIV epidemic disproportionately impacts homosexual and bisexual males, in addition to Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino folks.

“Probably the most infections are amongst younger homosexual and bisexual males and closely amongst younger homosexual males of colour,” Cook dinner County Well being Scientific Psychologist Sybil Hosek stated.

Howard Brown Heath Stroll-in Coordinator Dorothy Austin, who has been conducting HIV screenings for years, stated the screening course of takes minutes. The outcomes come even sooner.

However Austin stated it is by no means simple to go alongside a constructive consequence.

“In most cases, they’re sitting identical to this, simply listening,” Austin stated. “As soon as I give them my spiel, I cease speaking as a result of now it is like, do you need to speak about it?”

However Hosek stated now, there are therapies for HIV that imply a constructive consequence is not a loss of life sentence.

“The wonderful thing about HIV therapies now’s that getting on these drugs that are so easy in comparison with what they used to be- (it) may very well be a single pill daily, may very well be an injection each couple of months,” Hosek stated.

In keeping with the CDC, HIV remedy tablets are really useful for individuals who are simply starting HIV remedy, whereas photographs are extra appropriate for others who’ve had an undetectable viral load for a minimum of three months.

Howard Brown Well being officers stated people at excessive threat for HIV ought to get examined each three months, whereas everybody else ought to get examined a minimum of annually.

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