06/18/10 — Free HIV, syphilis tests today at Wayne County Health Department

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Free HIV, syphilis tests today at Wayne County Health Department

By From staff reports
Published in News on June 18, 2010 1:46 PM

A public health awareness campaign to encourage people to get tested for HIV and sexually transmitted diseaseswill be offering free HIV and syphilis tests today from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Wayne County Health Department.

The program, called "Get Real Get Tested", will operate out of a mobile unit in the parking lot of the county Health Department at 301 N. Herman Street.

"It's important that everyone know their HIV and STD status. If someone has HIV or an STD and it goes untreated, it can easily be passed to someone else unknowingly," said Evelyn Foust, director of the Communicable Disease Branch, N.C. Division of Public Health. "Make sure that you know your health status and your partner's health status." North Carolina is seeing a significant increase in the number of syphilis cases reported.

In 2009, 937 new cases of early infectious syphilis were reported. During 2008, North Carolina reported 509 new cases of early infectious syphilis. More than 35,000 North Carolinians are infected with HIV disease. Up to one-third may not know that they are HIV positive.

This statewide HIV education and testing campaign is being conducted by the North Carolina Communicable Disease Branch of the Division of Public Health in cooperation with community-based organizations and local health departments. The goals are to test people for HIV who have never been tested before, identify people living with HIV/AIDS who need care, and provide HIV and AIDS prevention and education messages to the general public.

For more information and to find out where to get tested, go to www.getreal gettested.com and click on the link that says "click here for local testing sites."