National HIV Testing Day, organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, encourages people to get tested for HIV and get the care, counseling and treatment they need to take charge of their health. The theme of this year’s event is “Doing it My Way” (#DoingItMyWay), reminding individuals to make regular HIV testing a part of their lives. The only way to know your status is to get tested. In the United States, more than 1.1 million people are living with HIV, and almost one in seven don’t know it.
More than 10,500 people are living with HIV in Connecticut, and the group most affected are white and Latino men performing male-to-male sexual contact. The number of HIV cases among Black women who identify as heterosexual increased 57% from 2013 to 2017. And, although the number of HIV diagnoses is on the decline across the country, the number of new cases of HIV increased in Connecticut from 2016 to 2017—demonstrating the need for expanded access to information, testing, and prevention services.
“You cannot tell by looking at someone if they have HIV—the only way to know is to get tested. We invite all people who do not know their status to come for a free test,” said Dr. Timothy Spurrell, Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. “The sooner you know your status, the sooner you can get any treatment and information you might need. Early treatment can help prevent serious health problems in the future.”
To promote early detection, encourage healthy communities, and prevent the spread of HIV, PPSNE will offer free rapid HIV tests at all 17 health centers in Connecticut during normal business hours on Thursday, June 27, 2019. Appointments are encouraged, but not required. Everyone who gets tested on June 27 will receive free giveaways, information, and safe sex supplies. Visit ppsne.org for health center hours and locations.
PPSNE has 17 health centers in Connecticut and Rhode Island that offer many essential preventative services including HIV and STD/STI testing. HIV can be managed and many HIV-positive individuals can live full lives if they know their status and take action to stay as healthy as possible. PPSNE also prescripes the HIV prevention medication pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-expsoure prophylaxis (PEP) at all of its health centers.
Planned Parenthood is one of the nation’s most trusted sources for accessible and high-quality health care for all people, including all FDA-approved birth control methods, abortion care, pregnancy testing and counseling, emergency contraception, cancer screenings, annual exams and more. We offer a sliding fee scale based on income and participate in many insurance plans. For convenience, online, walk-in, and same-day appointments are available.
To make an appointment or for more information, visit ppsne.org or call 1-800-230-PLAN (7526).
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