My Test, My Way: Planned Parenthood of Southern New England Offers Free Rapid HIV Testing on June 28
Contact: [email protected]
For Immediate Release: June 25, 2021
Walk-in to any PPSNE Health Centers in CT or RI for a Free Test for National HIV Testing Day
(Connecticut/Rhode Island) — Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) will offer free rapid HIV testing services atall health center locations in Connecticut and Rhode Island on Monday, June 28, 2021, in observance of National HIV Testing Day. Rapid HIV tests are quick and simple and can provide results in as fast as 20 minutes. Appointments are encouraged, but not required. Walk-in and get tested up to one hour before closing.
National HIV Testing Day, organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, encourages people to get tested for HIV and get the care, counseling and treatment they need to take charge of their health. The theme of this year’s event is “My Test, My Way” (#MyTestMyWay), reminding individuals to make regular HIV testing a part of their lives. The only way to know your status is to get tested. In the United States, more than 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the United States—and almost 13% don’t know it (hiv.gov).
There are approximately 2,600 people living with HIV in Rhode Island and over 10,000 people in Connecticut. The group most affected by HIV are gay and bisexual men, and—in Rhode Island, the number of newly diagnosed HIV cases among men who have sex with men increased to more than 70% in the last five years. While Rhode Island has seen a nearly 50% decrease in new HIV diagnoses from 2006-2016, everyone is encouraged to know their status by getting tested.
Close to 50% of newly diagnosed HIV cases in Connecticut are Black/African American men who have sex with men, and 30% of new cases from Hispanic/Latino men who have sex with men (CT DPH). These percentages underscore the consistent oversight, judgement, and exclusion that men who have sex with men and LGBTQ+ people of color experience in the health care system.
“It has been 40 years since the first cases of HIV were reported in the U.S., yet HIV stigma is still rampant and widespread. This stigma impacts people getting regularly tested.” said Brittany Fonteno, Chief External Affairs Officer of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. “The only way to combat stigma is to address it head on with facts. The fact is HIV is treatable and manageable, and the earlier you know, the sooner you can get any treatment or information you may need to live a long and healthy life. And we are here for you through it all. Planned Parenthood is where you can come for high-quality, affordable, and non-judgmental health care – no matter what.”
To promote early detection, encourage healthy communities, and prevent the spread of HIV, PPSNE will be offering free rapid HIV tests at any of our 15 health centers in Connecticut and Rhode Island on Monday, June 28. Appointments are encouraged, but not required. Walk-in and get tested up to one hour before closing. Everyone who gets tested on June 28 will receive a free giveaways, information, and safer sex supplies. Visit ppsne.org for more information.
PPSNE has 15 health centers in Connecticut and Rhode Island that offer many essential preventive services including HIV prevention and STD/STI testing. HIV can be managed, and HIV-positive individuals can live full lives if they know their status and take action to stay as healthy as possible. PPSNE also prescribes the HIV prevention medication pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) at all its health centers.
Planned Parenthood is one of the nation’s most trusted sources for accessible and high-quality health care for all people, including all FDA-approved birth control methods, abortion care, pregnancy testing and counseling, emergency contraception, cancer screenings, annual exams and more. We offer a sliding fee scale based on income and participate in many insurance plans. For convenience, online, walk-in, and same-day appointments are available.
To make an appointment or for more information, visit ppsne.org or call 1-800-230-PLAN (7526).