Southern Nevada Health District to offer Express Testing for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 6, 2019
LAS VEGAS – National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is observed each year on February 7 to increase testing and treatment among black communities. This year the Southern Nevada Health District will commemorate the day by offering free Express Testing for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia at its Sexual Health Clinic between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Testing is available on a first come, first served basis. No appointments are necessary. Express Testing is available for people who are not showing symptoms of an STD and provides same-day HIV results. STD results are available in seven to 10 days. For additional information, contact the Sexual Health Clinic at (702) 759-0702 or visit the clinic webpage.
HIV testing will also be available to the public at the annual Day of Wellness event between noon and 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Sammy Davis Jr. Festival Plaza in Lorenzi Park. The Health District and community partners will offer additional health screenings and services, entertainment, food, and more at this free event. For more information, contact the Horizon Ridge Clinic, (702) 675-0457 or visit www.HorizonRidgeClinic.com.
This year’s National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day theme is “Together for Love, Stop HIV Stigma.” The African American community continues to be disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2017 African Americans accounted for 43 percent of HIV diagnoses in the United States; more than half of those were among gay or bisexual men. In addition, 47 percent of people who received an AIDS diagnosis in 2016 were African American. Additional information can be found at the CDC’s HIV Among African Americans page.
The Southern Nevada Health District encourages everyone to get tested to learn their HIV status. Early diagnosis is critical for people with HIV so that they can benefit from antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART reduces HIV levels in the bloodstream, reduces HIV-related illnesses, and lowers the risk of transmitting HIV to intimate partners. With ART, HIV-positive people can remain healthy for many years.
The Health District recently initiated its 90-90-90 concept, which is part of a broader framework of goals introduced by the United Nations to eliminate HIV/AIDS as a public health threat. It is based on the principle that 90 percent of people who are infected with HIV will be diagnosed, 90 percent of those diagnosed will be treated with antiretrovirals, and 90 percent of those receiving treatment will be virally suppressed.
People who get tested and learn they are HIV negative can make decisions about their risk factors and health care. Those who are at high risk for HIV infection can discuss pre-exposure prophylaxis, called PrEP, with their health care providers to reduce their risk of infection. The CDC has information about PrEP on its website.
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 testing services are available Monday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada (The Center), 401 S. Maryland Parkway. For additional information about free testing, contact The Center at (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.