Nat’l Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Feb. 7; Free testing available
LAS VEGAS – This Saturday, Feb. 7 marks the annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day to encourage African-Americans to learn their HIV status. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), African-Americans accounted for approximately 44 percent of new HIV infections in 2010. The Southern Nevada Health District and its partners will offer free HIV testing at two locations on Saturday, Feb. 7. For information and testing locations, visit http://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/sexual-health-clinic/calendar.php or call the health district’s Sexual Health Clinic, (702) 759-0702.
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a chance to provide educational information and testing opportunities to the community. The health district encourages everyone to learn his/her HIV status.
HIV/STD screenings will be available as follows:
The Gay & Lesbian Center of So. Nevada Know Your Status monthly clinic
10a-3p, Free HIV/STD testing
401 S. Maryland Pkwy, LV, (702) 733-9800
First CME Williamson Temple Church
11a-5p, Free HIV/syphilis testing
6010 Smoke Ranch Rd, LV
Testing is free and no appointments are needed. Results for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea and Chlamydia tests will take approximately 10 days and will be available by calling the Southern Nevada Health District’s Sexual Health Clinic, (702) 759-0702. All testing is confidential.
According to the CDC, one in 16 black men will be diagnosed with HIV at some point in his lifetime, as will one in 32 black women. The CDC notes a decrease in HIV infections among black women although the rate of new HIV infections for black women remains higher than the rates for white and Hispanic women. African-Americans are the racial/ethnic group most impacted by HIV/AIDS in the United States. Most African-American women who are infected with HIV contract the virus through heterosexual contact. Young black men who are gay or bisexual are at the highest risk of infection.
Early diagnosis is critical for people who are HIV positive so they can benefit from treatment. It is estimated that nearly 40 percent of people with HIV are not diagnosed until they have developed AIDS, which can occur 10 years after infection. Additional recommendations from the CDC include annual testing for individuals who engage in high-risk sexual behavior or use intravenous drugs. Pregnant women should be tested during the early months of their pregnancy to help eliminate transmission of HIV to their infants.
The Sexual Health Clinic is located at 400 Shadow Lane, Suite 106. Services include confidential testing, counseling, case management and referrals. The health district offers several HIV test options, some with same-day results. In addition, testing is available each week: