From the Harford County Health Department:
In observance of the 2014 National HIV Testing Day, the Harford County Health Department will offer anonymous, no-cost HIV testing on a “walk-in” basis on Friday, June 27, 2014, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 pm at the Health Services Division office located on the top floor of 1 North Main Street in Bel Air.
The National HIV Testing Day observance draws awareness among all populations and encourages everyone to be tested. According to the national Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, there are an estimated 29,477 Marylanders diagnosed and known to be living with HIV/AIDS, while another 15.8% of those who are HIV positive remain undiagnosed, and are not aware of their status. All could benefit simply by taking the HIV test, since early diagnosis, testing and counseling are critical to obtaining appropriate care.
Cindy Dawson, RN, Director of the Harford County Health Department Health Services Division, reminds the public that, “Any individuals who have never been tested, have had any type of unprotected sexual contact or shared a needle for any reason in their lifetime are strongly encouraged to take an HIV test. People living with HIV without receiving treatment may not experience symptoms of AIDS for ten or more years and knowing your HIV status is the first step in taking control of your life. Getting appropriate care and medical management for HIV disease allows many individuals to lead full lives, working and raising their families. Knowledge of a positive HIV test result allows individuals to begin dealing with the disease and taking charge of their health.”
“All of us envision a day when Harford County has no new HIV infection,” states Harford County Health Officer Susan Kelly. “Knowledge is power, and HIV counseling and testing provides everyone with the power to protect their own health as well as the health of their partners.”
The Harford County Health Department offers free HIV testing throughout the year by appointment as well as a variety of services free of charge to individuals and families living with HIV, including medical care for those who qualify. For additional information, contact the Harford County Health Department Division of Health Services at 410-638-3060 or visit the Health Department website at www.harfordcountyhealth.com.