LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Free HIV testing is going on now in Lee County in celebration of National HIV Testing Day. The Florida Department of Health in Lee County is encouraging everyone between ages 13 and 64 to visit free test sites or their health care provider to encourage early diagnosis and the potential for a longer life.
Free standard testing today is sponsored by DOH-Lee from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Lee County Public Library, 2050 Central Avenue in Fort Myers.
Free standard testing sponsored by Source of Light and Hope Development Center, runs from 9 a.m. to noon at POP’s Grocery Store, 3700 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Dunbar,and 12:30-7:00 p.m. at S.W. Enterprise Center, 3903 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Fort Myers.
Free one-minute rapid HIV testing is offered from 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, 2231 McGregor Blvd. in Fort Myers.
“It’s especially important for those in a new or non-monogamous relationship to get tested before having sex,” said Diana Prat, Human Services Program Director for DOH-Lee. “It's also important to get tested regularly if you are at high risk of infection, and to use condoms with every sex act.”
DOH-Lee recommends getting tested for HIV at least once a year if you:
-Have unprotected sex (sex without a condom) with someone who may have HIV
-Have sex with a man who has sex with men
-Inject drugs with needles
-Have a sex partner who is HIV positive
-Have been diagnosed with another sexually transmitted disease (STD)
Early diagnosis allows human immunodeficiency virus positive individuals to maintain their health and reduce the spread of HIV.
This year, the CDC estimates 56,300 people will be infected with HIV in the United States. One in five or 20 percent of the more than 1,000,000 people living with HIV is unaware of his or her infection.