/National HIV Testing Day

The health district encourages everyone in the community to learn their HIV status by getting tested as part of National HIV Testing Day. Currently, there are more than 5,500 Southern Nevadans with HIV/AIDS. In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that voluntary HIV testing become routine for patients aged 13 to 64 to increase early diagnosis for the more than 250,000 Americans who are unaware they are HIV positive. The CDC noted that studies show that people who do not know they are HIV positive account for between 50 percent and 70 percent of new sexually transmitted HIV infections.

June 23, 2008

“AIDS remains an international public health problem with millions of people infected with HIV or who are ill with the disease. Because there is still no vaccine or cure more than 25 years into the epidemic, education and prevention through responsible behavior continue to be the best defense against infection,” said Dr. Lawrence Sands, Southern Nevada Health District chief health officer. “We encourage people to get tested, to know their status, to get treatment and to take precautions.”

The health district offers confidential testing services and counseling at its main public health center, 625 Shadow Lane; a separate entrance on the building’s south side ensures clients’ privacy.

The health district offers the OraSure HIV-1 oral fluid test or the traditional blood test weekdays at the HIV/AIDS clinic. In addition, the Rapid HIV Antibody Test, which costs $25, is available Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and on Thursday morning between 8 a.m. and noon. Rapid testing is NOT available on Fridays.

Since 1985, the health district’s Office of AIDS has provided community prevention and awareness programs and offers clients HIV pre- and post-test counseling, an adult evaluation clinic for HIV-positive individuals, case management for men, women and children through the Transitional Care Program, assistance with partner counseling/notification, outreach and community referral programs, trainings and education, as well as the distribution of items to prevent the spread of HIV. All services are confidential and no appointment is necessary.

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The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info.