MEMPHIS, TN — In observance of National HIV Testing Day, Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region (PPGMR) will offer free, confidential HIV prevention counseling and testing and free syphilis testing on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at its health center at 2430 Poplar Avenue.
What: Free HIV and syphilis testing
When: June 26, 2012, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Where: Planned Parenthood health center at 2430 Poplar Avenue
Anyone who is or has been sexually active is encouraged to be tested. Women as well as men are at risk of contracting HIV or syphilis if they have unprotected sex. It is possible to have contracted HIV or syphilis without even knowing it. Both infections can show few if any symptoms in the early stages. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as many as one in every five people who have HIV do not know they have the virus.
More than 6,300 people are currently living with a diagnosis of HIV in Shelby County and nearly 3,000 county residents have died of the infection since the AIDS epidemic began. Although it contains less than 15 percent of Tennessee’s population, Shelby County accounts for nearly 40 percent of all HIV/AIDS cases statewide. Identifying positives and providing prevention counseling to those at risk are key to reducing Shelby County’s HIV infection rate.
Because syphilis infection often coincides with HIV infection, offering tests for both infections at the same time makes it more likely that new infections will be discovered and treated before severe complications develop. An active syphilis infection can also make the infected person more vulnerable to HIV and more likely to transmit the HIV virus to others. Therefore, testing for and treating syphilis will also help to prevent the transmission of HIV infection in our community.
For more information about PPGMR’s health services and community HIV testing program, please visit our website: plannedparenthood.org/memphis.
Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region (PPGMR), founded in 1938, is an affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. PPGMR’s mission is to ensure broad public access to reproductive and related health care through clinic services, education, advocacy and community partnerships in serving 42 counties in West Tennessee, North Mississippi and East Arkansas.
Director of Community Affairs
June 19, 2012