National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Feb. 7
Health District encourages testing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 6, 2013
LAS VEGAS – Thursday, Feb. 7 is the annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and the Southern Nevada Health District is encouraging everyone to learn their HIV status. In Clark County, approximately 25 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS are African-American. Testing is always available at the health district and no appointment is necessary. For additional information and testing information, contact the health district’s Sexual Health Clinic, (702) 759-0702 or visit www.SNHD.info.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 16 black men will be diagnosed with HIV at some point in his lifetime as will one in 32 black women. In 2010, African-Americans accounted for 44 percent of new HIV infections; the rate of new HIV infections for black women was nearly 20 times as high as the rate for white women and five times that of Hispanic women. African-Americans are the racial /ethnic group most impacted by HIV/AIDS in the United States. Most African-American women who are infected with HIV contract the virus through heterosexual contact. Young black men who are gay or bisexual are at the highest risk of infection.
The goal of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is to focus efforts on testing, which is vital to begin treatment, to connect people to care services and to limit the spread. It is also an opportunity to provide educational information to the African-American community about risks associated with HIV infection and prevention methods. Early diagnosis is critical for people who are HIV positive so they can benefit from treatment. It is estimated that nearly 40 percent of people with HIV are not diagnosed until they have developed AIDS, which can occur 10 years after infection. Additional recommendations from the CDC include annual testing for individuals who engage in high-risk sexual behavior or use intravenous drugs. Pregnant women should be tested during the early months of their pregnancy to help eliminate transmission of HIV to their infants.
On Thursday, Feb. 7, the health district and its partners will offer free rapid HIV screenings at the following locations:
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
SNHD Sexual Health Clinic
400 Shadow Lane, Ste. 106, (702) 759-0702
1 p.m. – 6p.m.
Gay & Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada
953 E. Sahara Ave., #B-31, (702) 733-9800
8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Community Counseling Center
714 E. Sahara Ave., Ste. 101, (702) 369-8700
The Sexual Health Clinic is located at 400 Shadow Lane, Suite 106. Services include confidential testing, counseling, case management and referrals. The health district offers several HIV test options, some with same-day results. In addition, testing is available at several locations throughout the community.
The health district encourages everyone in the community to learn their HIV status. Currently, there are more than 6,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Southern Nevada.
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.