Health officials offer free testing for HIV/AIDS
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) –The North Central Health District and Walgreens provided free HIV testing. In 2017, 23% of people diagnosed with HIV in Georgia, were also diagnosed with AIDS within 12 months according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
According to the same source, nearly 2,000 new diagnoses of HIV among African American residents, made up 71% of the diagnoses.
With Friday being National Black HIV and AIDS Day, public health providers are urging all to get tested.
Michael Hokanson, public information officer for North Central Health District, says it’s better to find out your status and get treatment if needed.
“One of the most important steps obviously is to get tested regularly if you are sexually active, of course, you can also take methods to protect yourself,” explained Hokanson. “Through condoms. We also offer prep which is a medication. If you are HIV-negative, you can take that pill once daily that helps block the transmission of HIV if you are high-risk individual.”
The CDC has noted that HIV diagnoses have declined in recent years. Between 2010 and 2016, diagnoses in black heterosexual men have gone down by 26% and 25% in black women.