City, State and Local Clinic to Participate in National HIV Testing Day
Contact: Jennifer Ruggles
Monday, June 27, the municipal and state health departments are partnering with the Alaska Youth & Parent Foundation (AYPF) to offer free HIV testing at the downtown Transit Center, located at 6th Ave. and H Street, from 1 – 5 p.m (adults are welcome). The tests used will be oral swab “rapid tests.” Preliminary results will be available in 20 minutes.
Monday’s event is in honor of National HIV Testing Day. National HIV Testing Day was launched in 1995 by the National Association of People with AIDS and is designed to promote the importance of knowing your HIV status. This year’s testing day is focused on taking control with the theme “Take the Test, Take Control.”
At 1 p.m., Diane Ingle, Director of the municipal health department will give remarks regarding HIV and the importance of HIV testing and a mayoral proclamation will be issued in honor of National HIV Testing Day.
“We know that about 1 in 5 of those who are HIV positive are unaware of their HIV status, “ said Diane Ingle, director of the municipal Department of Health and Human Services. “Given that those with HIV can show no symptoms for up to 10 years, it is important for your health and the health of your partner that you know your status.”
“Knowing if you are infected with HIV or not, in other words knowing your HIV status, is important,” said Susan Jones, manager of Alaska’s HIV/STD program. “Studies show that when people find out they are living with HIV, they take steps to protect their health and their partner’s health.”
Although Alaska has a small number of cases, there are cases in communities across the State. Between 1982 and 2009, State of Alaska epidemiologists identified 1,317 cases of HIV in Alaska; 56 of those were reported in 2009.