By Darrielle Williams, BS
HIV Prevention Coordinator
Do you know your status? June 27th is National HIV Testing Day! HIV testing is an important part of everyone’s routine healthcare and should be part of your annual physical. According to the CDC, there are 1.1 million people in the US living with HIV and of them, 1 in 7 individuals do not know they are infected. Moreover, African Americans are disproportionately affected, comprising 12% of the US population but 44% of all HIV diagnoses in 2016. (https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/statistics/overview/index.html) In fact, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the rate of new HIV diagnoses in Michigan among African Americans was more than nine times higher than the rate among whites in 2015. While Detroit represented 16% of southeastern Michigan’s and 7% of the state’s population, residents of Detroit represent over half of southeastern Michigan’s and over a third of the state’s new HIV cases. (https://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdhhs/b2d45SEMI_withDet17_576863_7.pdf)
HIV is incurable but 100% preventable. You can know your status in just 20 minutes with a rapid HIV test that involves a quick, relatively painless finger prick. You can come into any Advantage Health Center clinic and get tested completely confidentially and free of charge. We can even test you anonymously, meaning you do not have to give us your name or any other identifying information. You can also receive free condoms and lubricant at all locations. Come in to get tested on June 27th or anytime and bring your friends! Know your status and help keep yourself and your community healthy!