In recognition of National HIV Testing Day (June 27), Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic (PPHP) is encouraging men, women, and young people to get tested for HIV.
In an effort to promote early detection and help people in the community remain healthy, PPHP is offering free HIV testing at nine of its health centers on Monday, June 29 and one health center in Huntington on Tuesday, June 30. No appointment is necessary, walk-in are welcome. Please visit www.pphp.org to find the health center closest to you.
“In the United States, more than 1.2 million people are living with HIV, and almost one in seven don't know they are infected. The only way to know is to get tested,” said Dr. Vanita Kumar, Medical Director, Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic. “National HIV Testing Day is a reminder that getting tested for HIV is an important step in both stopping the spread of HIV and taking care of ourselves.”
Rates of HIV remain a major concern in this country, particularly among young people and in specific communities. In the U.S., men who have sex with men, African Americans, and Latinos are disproportionately affected by HIV. Access to quality health care, resources, and information is a fundamental right for all people to reach their fullest potential. The fact is that a person’s health shouldn’t depend on who they are or where they live. Rather than a country divided by health disparities, PPHP is working to achieve health equity for all.
PPHP has five health centers in Westchester and Rockland Counties and five health centers in Suffolk County that offer many preventive services including HIV and STI testing. In 2014, PPHP provided more than 13,000 HIV tests for men, women and young people throughout Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, and Suffolk Counties.
Getting tested for HIV is simply a basic part of taking care of your health and your body—and it’s easier than ever before:
- HIV testing is quick, simple, and painless. Rapid HIV tests can provide results in as fast as 20 minutes from just a swab inside the mouth.
- Not all medical check-ups include routine HIV testing — so unless you ask to be tested, you can’t assume you have been.
- Some conversations may seem hard to have, but open communication with your partner is essential to staying healthy and stopping the spread of HIV. You can take care of yourself and your partner by getting tested before you start having sex.
HIV can be managed and HIV-positive individuals can live longer, healthier lives if they know their status, get into care, and stick with treatment. Getting tested is the first step to finding out if you have HIV.
PPHP believes that everyone deserves access to affordable, high- quality health care, and their doors are open to everyone. To find a Planned Parenthood health center near you, or to find more information about HIV, visit www.pphp.org.
June 23, 2015