June 23, 2021
MCHD and Family Health to mark National HIV Testing Day
MOBILE, Ala. — Testing is the only way to know for sure if someone has Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). It weakens a person’s immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection.
June 27 is designated as National HIV Testing Day (#HIV Testing Day) to encourage people to learn their HIV status. The 2021 theme — “My Test, My Way” — focuses on how you can take charge of your health by getting tested for HIV in a way that works best for you—whether that’s self-testing in your own space or finding a testing site nearby. REMEMBER: No Matter Who You Are, an HIV Test Is Right for You!
This year, it is especially important to recognize National HIV Testing Day as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create challenges for our community. Fighting to end both the COVID pandemic and the HIV Epidemic is of the utmost importance.
The Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) and Family Health (FH), its primary care division, will once again participate. On Monday, June 28, MCHD/FH will offer free oral swab rapid HIV testing and rapid COVID-19 testing at no charge to the patient at the Women’s Health Center site inside the Newburn Building located at 248 Cox Street in Mobile. No appointment is necessary, and testing will be provided from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
For a list of Family Health locations conveniently located throughout Mobile County, please visit https://mchd.org/family-health/#locations.
MCHD is recognized as a local health agency in partnership with Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS — a leading national public information response to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic — for HIV testing. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Walgreens has opted to advertise both oral rapid and take-home HIV testing kits, rather than host an in-person testing event.
Individuals who want to test “at home” can visit http://adph.mybinxhealth.com/ to order free HIV/STD test kits.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in six of the estimated 1.2 million people living in the United States with HIV are unaware of their status. Nearly 40 percent of new HIV infections are transmitted by people who do not know they have the virus. The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. People with certain risk factors should get tested more often.
In the lead up to National HIV Testing Day, MCHD encourages community members to know their HIV status and take advantage of free HIV testing and counseling about new prevention strategies, including Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), a daily pill that reduces the risk of HIV transmission.