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Health Department offers free HIV testing

National HIV Testing Day is June 27

Baltimore Times Staff | 6/25/2013, 8:43 a.m.
The Anne Arundel County Department of Health will provide free and confidential testing for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, ...
1984 Scanning electron micrograph of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Cynthia Goldsmith/CDC

— The Anne Arundel County Department of Health will provide free and confidential testing for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, on National HIV Testing Day, Thursday, June 27, 2013. Free HIV testing and counseling services will be available from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Ashbury United Methodist Church, 87 West Street, in Annapolis; Bay Ridge Apartments Community Center, 1 Bens Drive, in Annapolis; and Hall United Methodist Church, 7780 Solley Road, in Glen Burnie. Free food and giveaways will be available. For more information, call 410-222-4498. Also, follow the HIV/STD Prevention and Care Program on Twitter at @HIVXpressions.

The Department’s HIV/STD Prevention and Care Program encourages HIV testing for anyone who has ever shared needles, syringes or drug paraphernalia; had a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or sex with someone who had an STI; or had unprotected sex with a person who had unprotected sex with others. All pregnant women should have HIV testing as part of their regular medical care.

In 2011, Maryland had the third highest rate of new HIV diagnoses for any state or territory in the nation and the fourth highest rate of estimated adults living with diagnosed HIV. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than one million people in the United States are living with HIV. One in five people do not know they are infected. Medical treatments are available to help people living with HIV; but, to receive treatment, individuals must first know if they have the virus.

For more information about year-round free HIV testing and HIV/AIDS services at the Annapolis, Glen Burnie and Parole health centers, visit the Department’s website, www.aahealth.org/hiv/aids, or call 410-222-7108.