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"Test Your Way, Do It Today" Learn more about PrEP at free HIV, STD and Hepatitis C testing events

By Renay Rouse

June 07, 2019

In recognition of National HIV Testing Day, the Florida Department of Health in Martin County will offer a series of free testing events for HIV, STD and Hepatitis C.

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.

Free HIV/STD & Hepatitis C Testing:

Monday, June 17
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Golden Gate Center for Enrichment
3225 SE Dixie Highway, Stuart

Thursday, June 20
9:00 am – 1:00 pm
FL Dept. of Health
16401 SW Farm Rd., Indiantown

Saturday, June 29
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Pettway Grocery Store
10230 SE Federal Highway, Hobe Sound

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.

HIV-negative individuals are encouraged to reduce the chance of contracting HIV by using prevention strategies. Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) medication is now available through the Florida Department of Health in Martin County. 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 CDC, taking PrEP daily reduces the chance of getting HIV by more than 90 percent.

You can locate HIV counseling, testing and referral sites by visiting www.KnowYourHIVStatus.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.