Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) will offer free HIV testing in Farmington Hills and Royal Oak next week, with results in 15 minutes.
The events are offered in recognition of World AIDS Day, which was commemorated on Dec. 1.
Testing will be done from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Tuesday at the Oakland Community College (OCC) Orchard Ridge Student Center, 27055 Orchard Lake Rd. in Farmington Hills and on Wednesday at the Royal Oak Student Center, 739 South Washington, Royal Oak.
“The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 needs to be tested for HIV,” said Shane Bies, public health nursing services administrator at OCHD. “Those engaging in risky behaviors such as sharing needles and having unprotected sex with multiple partners should be tested more often.”
HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, can lead to AIDS, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, which was first recognized in 1981. HIV destroys blood cells that help fight off infection. HIV is mainly spreads through unprotected sex, having multiple sex partners, sharing needles, syringes, or other items used to inject drugs. HIV can also be spread from mother to child during pregnancy, birth, or breast-feeding. HIV cannot survive outside the human body and is not spread by air, water, insects, saliva, tears, sweat, and casual contact like shaking hands, sharing dishes, closed-mouth or “social” kissing.
To prevent HIV, follow these tips:
Abstain from sexual activity or remain in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.
Limit sex partners. The fewer partners you have, the less likely you are to encounter someone who is infected with HIV or another sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Use condoms correctly and consistently. Latex condoms are highly effective at preventing transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. “Natural” or lambskin condoms do not provide enough protection against HIV infection.
Get tested and treated for STIs. Insist that partners do too.
Do not inject drugs. If you inject drugs, counseling and treatment can help you stop or reduce drug use. If you cannot stop injecting drugs, use clean needles when injecting.
Obtain medical treatment immediately if potential exposure to HIV occurs. HIV medications can prevent infection if started quickly.
“There are over 1 million people living with HIV in the U.S. and one in five of those people do not know they are infected,” Bies said. “Getting an HIV test is important for everyone. There have been studies that show early treatment of HIV may delay the onset of AIDS.”
AIDS has killed more than 25 million people worldwide, including more than 583,000 Americans. It is estimated that over 16,000 people with AIDS die each year.
Source: Oakland County Health Division press release