Southern Nevada Health District offers free testing on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 7, 2018
LAS VEGAS – There are more than 470,000 African Americans living with HIV. In 2014, among new HIV diagnoses in African Americans, only 72 percent of them were linked with medical care within one month. Wednesday, Feb. 7 marks the annual observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day to encourage African Americans to learn their HIV status. This year’s theme is “Stay the Course, the Fight is Not Over!” The Southern Nevada Health District will be offering free HIV testing from 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 7 at The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada (The Center), 401 S. Maryland Parkway. For a calendar of testing information and clinics, visit the Health District’s HIV/STD Screening Clinics page or call the Sexual Health Clinic at (702) 759-0702.
The Health District and its partner AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) will offer free HIV testing at its mobile testing unit at these locations:
- The Urban Lounge (Located inside the Arts Factory)
Wednesday, Feb. 7
7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
107 E. Charleston Blvd #150
Las Vegas, NV 89104
- Mingo Kitchen & Lounge
Friday, Feb. 9
8 p.m. – midnight
1017 South 1st Street, #180
Las Vegas, NV 89101
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that African Americans accounted for approximately 44 percent of new HIV diagnoses in 2016, and African American communities continue to experience a higher burden of HIV infection than others in the United States. While infection rates for African American women have declined, they remain higher than rates for white and Hispanic women. According to the CDC, more than half of HIV diagnoses among African Americans occurred in gay or bisexual men, and of these, 39 percent were between the ages of 25 and 34. Additional information can be found at the CDC’s HIV Among African Americans page.
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.
The Southern Nevada Health District’s Sexual Health Clinic is located at 280 S. Decatur Blvd. Services include confidential HIV testing, counseling, case management, and referrals. In addition, free HIV and syphilis testing services are available Monday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. at The Center. For additional information, call (702) 733-9800.
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.