Community

Snohomish Health District targets highest risk group for HIV testing, awareness

Snohomish County Health District - Contributed art
Snohomish County Health District
— image credit: Contributed art

Thursday, Feb. 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, designed to encourage black people across the United States to get educated, get tested, get involved, and get treated.

Among all racial and ethnic groups, African Americans are most at risk from HIV/AIDS in the United States. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed an alarming 48 percent increase in new HIV infections among young, black men who have sex with men. In Washington State, black people accounted for approximately 19 percent of all new HIV infections in 2011. One way to slow the spread of HIV is to know if you have it. Approximately 1-in-5 adults and adolescents in the United States living with HIV does not know they are infected.

Any member of the black community, ages 14 and older, who has had risk for HIV transmission can qualify for free, rapid HIV testing on Feb. 7. The test involves a simple pin-prick to the finger, resulting in a tiny drop of blood, and only takes 30 minutes – including results.

No appointment is necessary, just stop by between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7 at Snohomish Health District Suite 106, 3020 Rucker Avenue, Everett.

Throughout the year, Snohomish Health District offers free testing by appointment every weekday to members of the public at higher risk for HIV transmission:

• Men who have sex with other men

• Individuals who use injection drugs and share needles

• Individuals who have had a gonorrhea or Syphilis diagnosis in the last 90 days

• Black women over age 25 who have had unprotected sex with anyone in the last 12 months

Testing services are available in Everett and Lynnwood, with a special evening clinic each Tuesday.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 425-339-5298.

Black women can also get free HIV testing and other services at the Snohomish Health Districtsponsored Health & Beauty Fair for Women of Color on Saturday, March 9 at Edmonds Community College.

 

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