Today marks the first day of a week full of free HIV testing available throughout the Los Angeles County. With June 27th being national HIV Testing Day, the Erase Doubt movement, The Greater than AIDS campaign and Walgreens have teamed up this year to offer free HIV testing. This event is only offered at select Walgreen locations between June 27th and June 29th between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm. The common goal of each of these organizations is to bring awareness, prevention and treatment options and provide more education on HIV virus and AIDS.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the virus that weakens the immune system and causes HIV disease and AIDS. Nearly half of all new sexually-transmitted HIV infections are spread by individuals who did not know that they had it. Most newly-transmitted HIV infections have no symptoms.
An individual can become contracted with HIV through having anal, vaginal or oral sex without any form of protection; the sharing of unclean needles or syringes; mother to child by pregnancy, birth or breast feeding; or by contaminated blood products before 1985. HIV, if left untreated, will eventually weaken the immune system so severely that the individual may develop AIDS within a 10 years of being infected. General health, genetics, levels of stress and other contributing factors will contribute to the length of time an HIV infected individual has until getting AIDs if they do not receive treatment.
Mario J. Perez, Director of the Los Angeles County, Department of Public Health, Division of HIV and STD programs has commented, “Los Angeles is honored to collaborate with Walgreens and Greater than AIDS to encourage Angelenos to learn their HIV status and take control of their health. New studies tell us that over 30 percent of people with HIV are not diagnosed until they are within a year of an AIDS diagnosis. Early HIV diagnosis is critical in order to fully benefit from available life-saving treatments, thereby staving off AIDS diagnosis. Our message is simple: Erase your doubt. Get tested. Get treated. It’s free.”
It is highly encouraged that LA residents take advantage of this great opportunity to get tested throughout this week. If you are not located within the LA County, you should look into your local community for organizations that provide education, testing opportunities, and treatment options. You only have one life to live, Erase your doubt, get tested, and educate others about HIV, AIDS, STDs and healthy sex practices.
To obtain more information about this event or to view a full list of the testing locations, please visit www.erasedoubt.org. To learn more about STDs, HIV and AIDS, please refer to the following websites: