In observance of National HIV Testing Day, Hawaii State Department of Health clinics and other community-based sites are offering free HIV screening on Thursday, June 27.
National HIV Testing Day occurs every year to encourage individuals to get tested for HIV and learn their HIV status.
"The DOH recommends that everyone from age 14 to 64 have an HIV test," said Nancy Deeley, HIV testing coordinator for the DOH STD/AIDS Prevention Branch.
"A person who knows their HIV status is less likely to engage in behavior that puts others at risk; can be started on HIV treatment which makes them less infectious to others; can be treated for STDs that increase the likelihood of transmitting HIV; and can be provided with prevention counseling and other support services," said Peter Whiticar, chief of the DOH STD/AIDS Prevention Branch.
In 2010, under the direction of President Barack Obama, the United States released its first-ever National HIV/AIDS Strategy. The NHAS served to redirect attention to the HIV epidemic that has killed approximately 600,000 people in the United States and continues to infect 56,000 people in the nation each year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than 1.1 million Americans are currently living with HIV and about 25 percent (259,000) of this total are unaware of their HIV infection.
The number of people living with HIV/AIDS infection in Hawaii has increased each year from 2001 to 2011. SAPB data indicates there were a total of 4,334 individuals in the state living with HIV/AIDS as of December 31, 2011.
DOH provides free confidential HIV testing on all islands. For information about HIV testing services, contact:
Oahu: Nancy Deeley
Diamond Head Health Center (3627 Kilauea Ave., Honolulu, HI 96816)
Clinic hours on HIV Testing Day will be 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Phone: (808) 733-4383; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hawaii: Peter Tuiolosega Silva
STD/HIV Clinic at the Waiakea Health Center (191 Kuawa St., Hilo, HI 96720)
Phone: (808) 974-4247; e-mail: email@example.com
Maui: Janelle Miller
Maui District Health Office (121 Mahalani St., Suite 104, Wailuku, HI 96793)
Phone: (808) 984-2129; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kauai: Jason Yaris
Kauai District Health Office (3040 Umi St., Lihue, HI 96766)
Phone: (808) 821-2741; e-mail: email@example.com
For information on HIV/AIDS and access to testing in Hawaii:
For information on National HIV Testing Day: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/nhtd.htm
For more information on National HIV/AIDS Strategy: http://www.whitehouse.gov