HEMPSTEAD — In recognition of National HIV Testing Day on June 27, Planned Parenthood of Nassau County (PPNC), in collaboration with Long Island Association for AIDS Care (LIAAC), will host free testing for HIV and other STDs to encourage women, men, and teens to get tested.
People can get free testing on June 27 by coming to the Hempstead Bus Terminal from 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. During that time, PPNC will be providing free HIV and STD testing on the Plan Van, which will be parked on West Columbia Street between the LIRR Hempstead Station and the bus terminal. To be eligible for an STD test, the person must not urinate one hour prior to providing a urine specimen.
“With nearly 50,000 new HIV infections each year, National HIV Testing Day reminds us that testing for HIV and STDs is an important step in stopping the spread of HIV while promoting the value of self-care and healthy living,” said JoAnn D. Smith, PPNC’s President & CEO. “The reality is that more than 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV, yet one in five is unaware of his or her status.”
In 2012, PPNC provided more than 5,400 HIV tests for men, women and young people. PPNC has three health centers in Nassau County that offer many preventive services including HIV and STD testing. In 2011, Planned Parenthood health centers nationwide provided over 680,000 HIV tests for men and women.
Under the Affordable Care Act, more men, women, and young people have access to HIV testing at no cost. People who already have insurance have begun to see this benefit already. Eligible, uninsured people can begin enrolling in health coverage plans under the Affordable Care Act starting October 1 for coverage that begins January 1, 2014. More information is available at plannedparenthood.org.
“Practicing safe sex with proper protection like condoms and regular testing are important steps to living healthier lifestyles,” said Ms. Smith. “We urge everyone to get tested. Getting tested is quick and easy, and it can ensure that you and your partners remain healthy.”
Planned Parenthood’s online tool The Check offers guidance and tips about HIV and other STDs, and helps direct people to a local health center.
Planned Parenthood of Nassau County (PPNC) is one of 72 affiliates of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and operates 3 health centers in Hempstead, Glen Cove and Massapequa. In 2012, PPNC provided preventive health services to more than 13,000 patients during 26,000 visits. We conducted education workshops, street outreach and prevention programs to over 31,500 community members, and mobilized 8,500 advocates to protect reproductive health care rights. PPNC has served the community for 80 years, and is dedicated to educating and empowering individuals to make responsible choices regarding their sexuality and sexual health. For more information about PPNC’s services and programs, visit www.ppnc.org.