Thursday, June 20 2013, 02:50 PM EDT
National HIV Testing Day is June 27
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Health will join a coalition of health providers and partners across the nation in observing National HIV Testing Day on Thursday, June 27. As part of this effort to raise awareness and promote prevention of HIV, TDH is teaming up with Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS to provide free HIV testing at Walgreens stores across Tennessee June 27-29. TDH encourages all sexually active Tennesseans, regardless of age, to get tested for HIV.
“We urge all Tennesseans who are sexually active to take responsibility for their health and the health of their partners by knowing their HIV status and making HIV testing a standard part of their health routine,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “This knowledge is crucial to slowing the epidemic of HIV and AIDS in our state, our nation and the world.”
Free HIV testing will be provided June 27-29 at the following Tennessee Walgreens locations in partnership with local community-based organizations:
3605 Brainerd Road Chattanooga
1202 S. James Campbell Blvd., #24 Columbia
214 Broad St. Elizabethton
1420 W. Stone Drive Kingsport
4001 Chapman Highway Knoxville
2400 N. Broadway St. Knoxville
627 Gallatin Pike S. Madison
1359 Poplar Ave. Memphis
4155 S. Third St. Memphis
1130 S. Bellevue Blvd. Memphis
1489 Airways Blvd. Memphis
3360 N. Watkins St. Memphis
1081 Murfreesboro Pike Nashville
5600 Charlotte Pike Nashville
2611 Franklin Pike Nashville
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates nearly a quarter of a million Americans are now living with HIV but don’t know it,” said Carolyn Wester, MD, MPH, medical director of the state’s HIV/AIDS/STD section. “Early diagnosis and treatment saves lives and reduces the spread of HIV. With increased accessibility through this program and others like it, we will continue to reduce the impact of HIV on the people of Tennessee and the U.S.”
TDH statistics show the urgent need for increased efforts to prevent HIV, with cases reported in every county in Tennessee. On average, more than two individuals are diagnosed with HIV every day in Tennessee. In 2011, there were 877 new cases of HIV diagnosed in Tennessee. Since 1992, more than 24,000 Tennesseans have been diagnosed with HIV disease. Of that number, more than 17,000 Tennesseans are currently living with a diagnosis of HIV.
Anyone can obtain free, confidential HIV testing at Tennessee’s local county health departments. Health department clinics across the state also offer counseling with a trained health care provider on ways to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV. A list of local county health departments is available online at http://health.state.tn.us/localdepartments.htm.
Information on other sites that offer HIV testing can be found online at www.HIVtest.org. Mobile phone users can send a text message with their ZIP code to “KNOWIT” (566948) and within seconds will receive a reply via text message identifying nearby testing sites.
Questions about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases can also be answered by calling the Tennessee HIV/STD Hotline at 1-800-525-2437.
The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. For more information about TDH services and programs, visit http://health.state.tn.us/.