Health District launches HIV mobile testing unit National HIV Testing Day, June 27
LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Health District and AIDS Healthcare Foundation today launched an HIV/STD mobile testing unit to coincide with National HIV Testing Day. The mobile unit will be available for viewing today at the Health District’s location at 280 S. Decatur Blvd. from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Representatives from AIDS Healthcare Foundation will be in attendance. The Health District and AIDS Healthcare Foundation initiated mobile testing as a method to increase testing throughout Southern Nevada. The Health District and AIDS Healthcare Foundation will offer rapid HIV screening as well as syphilis, gonorrhea, and Chlamydia testing on the unit during outreach events. During National HIV Testing Day, the foundation will be providing HIV testing and the Health District will be offering gonorrhea, syphilis, and Chlamydia testing from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. in the Wal-Mart parking lot at 1807 W. Craig Rd. in North Las Vegas. For information about testing or to find the monthly HIV testing event calendar, visit the Health District’s Sexual Health Clinic website or contact the clinic at (702) 759-0702.
HIV testing will also be available from 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday, June 27 at The Center. In addition to testing, The Center will host a Health and Wellness Services Fair as part of National HIV Testing Day activities from 10 am. – 2 p.m. For information, contact The Center at (702) 733-9800.
The Health District encourages everyone to learn his or her HIV status. In Clark County, more than 11,016 residents have been diagnosed with HIV and/or AIDS. 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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.
“HIV infection is now manageable, however, it is best managed the earlier a patient begins to receive treatment,” said Dr. Joe Iser, Southern Nevada Health District Chief Health Officer. “Our goal is to make testing easier, to be more flexible, and to reach the community wherever we can. We’re also very excited to partner with AIDS Healthcare Foundation as we work together to get more people tested and into treatment.” The mobile testing unit will be used for outreach events several times per month and will be added to the Sexual Health Clinic’s monthly outreach calendar.
National HIV Testing Day was launched in 1995 by the National Association of People with AIDS in response to increasing numbers of people with HIV in communities of color and other heavily impacted communities.
According the CDC, nearly 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV. As many as 156,000 are not aware they are infected and could be passing the infection along to their partners. New treatments developed in the mid-1990s have allowed HIV-positive people to live longer, healthier lives.
The Health District’s Sexual Health Clinic is open 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The clinic offers STD services including testing, treatment, exams, referrals and counseling; the cost is $40. Additional fees may apply depending upon lab testing services to diagnose and treat certain sexually transmitted infections. Anyone who wishes to be tested and is not experiencing symptoms, can visit The Center Monday through Thursday for free HIV/syphilis testing.