From the Florida Department of Health in Orange County
Next week, June 27, 2021, is National HIV Testing Day and the Florida Department of Health in Orange County’s Area 7 HIV/AIDS Program Office, in collaboration with community partners, will host testing events throughout the Central Florida area to encourage individuals to get tested and know their status.
This annual testing day brings awareness to the importance of HIV testing and early diagnosis of HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all individuals 13–64 years old be tested for HIV at least once during their lifetime, and persons at increased risk for HIV infection be tested at least annually.
According to the CDC 2018 HIV Surveillance Report, the Orlando Metropolitan Area (Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford) ranked fifth in the country for new HIV cases rates. Florida remains a national leader in HIV testing, with over 1,400 registered HIV test sites (including each county health department and community-based organizations) which provide high-quality, confidential testing services at low or no cost. Testing is also available through doctor’s offices and other health care facilities.
With early diagnosis, individuals can begin appropriate treatment and care resulting in better health outcomes. Studies have shown that providing antiretroviral therapy as early as possible after diagnosis improves a patient’s health, reduces transmission, and can eventually lead to undetectable HIV viral loads.
June 25, 2021
Rescue Outreach Mission 1701 W. 13th Street, Sanford 32771; 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
June 26, 2021
Sedanos Supermarket, 5660 Curry Ford Road, Orlando 32812; 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
June 27, 2021
Alonzo Williams Park, 225 M. A. Board Street, Apopka 32703; 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
June 29, 2021
Provost Park, 400 S. Varr Avenue, Cocoa 32922; 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
In addition, the Area 7 Program offers free at-home HIV testing kits. Visit www.talktestcfl.com for more information and to request your kit.
HIV-negative individuals are encouraged to reduce the chance of contracting HIV by using prevention strategies. As part of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County’s (DOH-Orange) strategic efforts to eliminate HIV in Florida, the Department offers Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) medication. For information on the program, clinic hours, and what to expect during your first visit, please call the DOH-Orange STD clinic at 407-723-4170.
PrEP is a once-daily pill that can reduce the chance of acquiring HIV in HIV-negative individuals. PrEP should be used in conjunction with other prevention methods like condoms to reduce the chance of infection. According to the CDC, taking PrEP daily reduces the chance of getting HIV by more than 90 percent. Find a PrEP provider near you with the department’s PrEP Providers List.
You can locate HIV counseling, testing and referral sites by visiting www.talktestcfl.com or texting ‘FLHIV’ to 898211.
For more information, call the Florida HIV/AIDS Hotline at 1-800-FLA-AIDS or 1-800-352-2437; En Español, 1-800-545-SIDA; In Creole, 1-800-AIDS-101. To chat with a live counselor at the Florida HIV/AIDS Hotline, visit www.211bigbend.org/flhivaidshotline.
The Florida Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.
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