Published: 06.13.11| Updated: 06.14.11
Planned Parenthood of Southwest & Central Florida
Works to Keep People Healthy with Free HIV Testing
In recognition of National HIV Testing Day
In an effort to reduce the spread of HIV in our community, Planned Parenthood of Southwest & Central Florida (PPSWCF) is offering free rapid HIV tests at its seven health centers later this month, in recognition of National HIV Testing Day (NHTD). NHTD is spearheaded by the National Association of People with AIDS.
On Monday, June 27, free HIV testing will be available at six Planned Parenthood health centers:
Fort Myers (8595 College Pkwy, Suite 250, 239-481-9999), 1:00-4:00pm
Lakeland (2250 E. Edgewood Dr., 863-665-5735), 2:00-4:00pm
Sarasota (736 Central Ave., 941-953-4060), 1:00-4:00pm
St. Petersburg (8950 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N., 727-898-8199), 10:00am-4:00pm
Tampa (8068 North 56th St., 813-980-3555), 11:00am-3:00pm
Winter Haven (908 Spring Lake Sq., 863-293-7494), 12:00-3:00pm
On Tuesday, June 28, free HIV testing will be available at the Manatee County Planned Parenthood health center:
Bradenton (1105 53rd Ave. E., Suite 201, 941-567-3800), 2:00-4:00pm
Click HERE or call call the most convenient health center to make an appointment. While appointments are recommended, walk-ins are welcome.
In 2010, the local Planned Parenthood affiliate performed nearly 2,200 tests for HIV at its health centers. Yet this number doesn’t come close to identifying and, thus, treating all of the young people potentially infected with HIV.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one out of five people living with HIV in the U.S. are unaware of their HIV status. NHTD is an opportunity for people nationwide to learn their HIV status, and to gain knowledge to take control of their health and their lives. While there is no cure for HIV, a variety of drugs can be used in combination to control the virus and enable people infected with HIV to lead healthy lives.
Despite increases in the total number of people living with HIV in the U.S. in recent years, the annual number of new HIV infections has remained relatively stable. However, new infections continue at far too high a level, with an estimated 56,300 Americans becoming infected with HIV each year.
More than 17,000 people with AIDS still die each year in the U.S. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are strongly affected and represent the majority of persons who have died. Through 2008, more than 617,000 people with AIDS in the U.S. have died since the epidemic began.
Here are some fast facts from AIDS.gov:
According to the Florida Department of Health, as of 2010, Florida ranked third in the nation in cumulative AIDS cases (121,161) and second in the nation in cumulative pediatric AIDS cases (1,542). There are nearly 98,000 persons living with HIV/AIDS in Florida and, in 2009, there were 1,232 deaths due to HIV/AIDS.
Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, Inc.