Are you positive that you’re negative? In recognition of World Aids Day which was Saturday December 1st, Planned Parenthood of the South Central New York wanted to make sure folks are on top of your health by offering free confidential rapid HIV testing and counseling
“We get couples coming in together. We get individuals coming in, people who saw the ad and just thought, why not, let’s find out. We always say be positive you’re negative. Learn your status and you can stay safe and healthy for your whole life,” said Director of Public Communications for Planned Parenthood of the South Central New York Ingrid Husisian.
As many as one out of five with HIV don’t know they are infected.
As of December of 2010, 361 people were living with HIV and AIDS in broome county, 58 in Chenango, 55 in Delaware and 60 in Otsego counties according to the New York State Department of Health.
With rapid testing, a nurse pricks your finger and 20 minutes later the results are ready
“It eliminates the agony of waiting for weeks or days. You know your status right away. And, they have somebody there available to educate you about HIV and how you can stay safe and healthy,” said Hessisian.
Planned Parenthood suggests anyone who is sexually active get tested, and tested regularly. Early treatment means a healthier life.
“the sooner you know your status, the better. you can stay healthier for longer. you can get the treatment that you need to extend your life. you can get the care you need if you’re pregnant, you can keep yourself and your partner healthy,” said Hessisian.
According to aids.gov, the first cases of what would later become known as AIDS were reported in the United States in June of 1981. Since then, 1.7 million people in the U.S. are estimated to have been infected with HIV, including over 619,000 who have already died and approximately 1.2 million adults and adolescents who were living with HIV infection at the end of 2008.
Approximately 50,000 Americans become infected with HIV each year.
Source: Kate Thornton