National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Feb. 7
Health District encourages testing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 6, 2014
LAS VEGAS – Friday, Feb. 7 marks the 15th annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and the Southern Nevada Health District is encouraging everyone to learn their HIV status. African-Americans accounted for approximately 44 percent of new HIV infections in 2010 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In Clark County, approximately 25 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS are African-American. Testing is available at the health district and no appointment is necessary. For additional information and testing locations in the community, contact the health district’s Sexual Health Clinic, (702) 759-0702 or visit www.SNHD.info.
According to the CDC, one in 16 black men will be diagnosed with HIV at some point in his lifetime as will one in 32 black women. The CDC notes a decrease in HIV infections among black women although the rate of new HIV infections for black women remains higher than the rates for white and 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.
This year’s theme is “I Am My Brother’s and Sisters’ Keeper. Fight HIV/AIDS.” Since its inception, 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 Friday, Feb. 7, the health district and its partners will offer free rapid HIV screenings at the following locations:
8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
SNHD Sexual Health Clinic
400 Shadow Lane, Ste. 106, (702) 759-0702
Free rapid HIV testing
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m./1:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Gay & Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada
401 S. Maryland Pkwy, (702) 733-9800
Free rapid HIV testing
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.