For Release: June 22, 2017 – Jamie Dukes, Office of Communications (405) 271-5601
National HIV Testing Day is Tuesday, June 27, and OSDH encourages everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 to get tested at least once in their life as part of their routine health care. People with certain risk factors should get tested more often.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more than 1.2 million people in the United States living with HIV. Due to effective treatments, people are living long and healthy lives with HIV. However, it is important to start treatment as soon as a person finds out they are HIV-positive. Since 1982, Oklahoma has had more than 10,000 HIV/AIDS cases and there are currently about 6,000 people living with HIV throughout the state.
The CDC estimates there are 50,000 new cases of HIV each year in the United States. Almost one in seven people are unaware of their HIV status. For young people between the ages of 13-24 living with HIV, more than half are unaware of their status. Getting tested is the only way to know.
Expressions Community Center has testers available Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. They are located at 2245 N.W. 39th Street.
Health Outreach Prevention Education, Inc. (H.O.P.E.) will be accepting walk-ins, June 26, at the East 31st Street location from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. They will be at the Dennis R. Neil Equality Center, June 27, from 4-8 p.m.
MAMA Knows will be testing at the North Commerce Street Walgreens June 27-29 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Behaviors which place persons at risk for acquiring HIV include injecting drugs and sharing needles, men having sex with men, and persons having sex with someone whose sexual history is unknown. Among other risk reduction strategies, the OSDH encourages pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as a prevention option. PrEP is a once-a-day pill for people who are HIV-negative, but who are at risk of contracting HIV. According to the CDC, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of contracting HIV by more than 90 percent.