West Palm Beach — Marking National HIV Testing Day on June 27, Planned Parenthood of South Florida and the Treasure Coast is encouraging women, men and teens to visit one of our nine local health centers to get tested.
“HIV and STD testing is now a routine health care service for everyone — not just for at-risk populations,” said Lillian Tamayo, President/CEO of Planned Parenthood of South Florida and the Treasure Coast. “National HIV Testing Day is a great reminder that early diagnosis and treatment saves lives and prevents new infections.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), today there are approximately 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S., including more than 290,000 women. Women of color are disproportionately affected, as are women under 40.
“HIV testing is for everyone, including women,” said Tamayo. “It is now a routine part of health care. Everyone should get tested regularly. By providing free or low cost testing at all nine of our local health centers, we are helping to ensure that cost is not a barrier.”
In 2009, African-American women were diagnosed with AIDS at 23 times the rate of white women, accounting for approximately 64 percent of new cases in the United States. Latinas experienced 18 percent of female AIDS diagnoses, whites 15 percent. Overall, women under 40 accounted for more than 60 percent of newly diagnosed HIV infections in 2006.
“HIV has a huge impact on women’s health,” said Dr. Vanessa Cullins, vice president for medical affairs at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “But you don’t have to give up sex to stay safe. You should discuss these issues with your partner, use protection, and regularly get tested.”
Planned Parenthood of South Florida and the Treasure Coast’s HIV testing event is an extension of the GYT (“Get Yourself Tested”) campaign, a national effort to promote routine testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among young people. Anyone can get tested by visiting our website, www.ppsoflo.org or calling 1-800-230-PLAN (7526) to make an appointment at a health center near you.
The mission of Planned Parenthood of South Florida and the Treasure Coast is to provide comprehensive sexual health care through the provision of clinical services, education and advocacy. We do so by understanding and responding to the needs of those seeking our services, and by protecting and respecting the essential privacy rights, dignity and culture of each individual.
Takeata King Pang - 561-472-9942
June 24, 2011