Michael F. Easley
Governor

The Great Seal of the State of North Carolina Carmen Hooker Odom
Secretary

North Carolina
Department of Health and Human Services

For Release: IMMEDIATE
Date: June 22, 2007

  Contact: Carol Schriber

National HIV Testing Day celebrated in N.C.

Free HIV tests offered across the state on June 27

RALEIGH— Many people in North Carolina are infected with HIV and don’t know it. That means that they aren’t getting the health care they need to slow down or stop the progression of HIV, and it means they may be unknowingly infecting other people with this potentially deadly disease as well.

In recognition of the importance of HIV testing to protect the public’s health and in support of National HIV Testing Day, Governor Mike Easley has declared Wednesday, June 27, as National HIV Testing Day in North Carolina. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is partnering with the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) to conduct free HIV testing events across North Carolina that day. NAPWA is donating 1,000 rapid HIV testing kits to the North Carolina HIV/STD Prevention and Care Branch to use in the events.

Testing for HIV as well as syphilis will be done using rapid HIV testing methods as well as traditional methods. Special testing events will take place in Asheville, Charlotte, Dunn, Durham, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Raleigh, Rocky Mount, Winston-Salem, and at several sites in Robeson County that will be served by a mobile testing van. Local health departments also offer free HIV testing. For times and locations, visit the “Get Real. Get Tested.” Web site at www.fox50.com/real and click on “Upcoming Events,” or call your local health department.

“There are an estimated 8,000 North Carolinians living with HIV or AIDS who don’t know their status,” said State Health Director Leah Devlin. “HIV testing events like those on June 27 are vital in helping people become aware of their status so they get the care they need and prevent spread of infection to others. We look forward to working with our partners at NAPWA in this important testing initiative.”

 

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Debbie Crane
Director