FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Health officials say an estimated 1.1 million people aged 13 and older had an HIV infection in the United States at the end of 2016. In honor of National HIV Testing Day, Allen County residents have the chance to get a free test.
Wednesday, the main branch of the Allen County Public Library is hosting a free, walk-in testing service from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Light refreshments will also be available on a first come first serve basis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends HIV testing as part of routine health care, but officials say many never get tested.
Walgreens, at 110 E. Creighton Ave., is also hosting free HIV testing. Services are offered Thursday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. No appointment is necessary, and the department uses a finger-stick rapid test to take one drop of blood for results in 20 minutes.
Both events are in observance of National HIV Testing Day. Since 1995, every year on June 27 people are encouraged to get tested. Health officials say early diagnosis is key to stopping the virus in its tracks and reaching an undetectable level, meaning the virus can no longer be transmitted while enrolled in proper treatment. This year’s theme is “Doing It My Way,” focusing on testimonials from real people who make testing part of their lives on their terms and in their way. Positive Resource Connection will be sharing video testimonials through social media from celebrities, prominent figures and real-life people about the importance of testing in their personal lives.
Residents can follow the Positive Resource Connection on Facebook, or visit https://positiveresourceconnection.org and click on “Get Involved” from the menu to find more details and see a list of upcoming events.