Michigan residents urged to take HIV test

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6 News This Morning: hiv testing day

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – National HIV Testing Day is June 27th and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is urging residents to make HIV testing a part of their life.

The Ingham County Health Department is providing free and confidential HIV testing for all Lansing and Ingham County residents on Thursday, June 27th from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Forest Community Health Center.

The health center is located at 2316 S. Cedar Street in Lansing. Everyone tested will also receive a free $5-$10 Meijer gift card while supplies last.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and that number grows by nearly 40,000 people each year. It is estimated 30 percent of new infections come from individuals who do not know they have HIV.

In Michigan, approximately 18,950 people are living with HIV, and 14 percent are not aware of their positive status.

Approximately 500 people in Ingham County are living with HIV. Ingham County has the fourth highest HIV prevalence rate among Michigan counties.

“It is critical to know your HIV status,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail. “An astounding 1 in 7 people with HIV do not know they are HIV positive. People who are HIV positive can live healthy, long lives, but only with diagnosis and treatment.”

The CDC has found that more than 90 percent of new HIV infections in the United States could be prevented by testing and diagnosing people who have HIV and ensuring they receive prompt, ongoing care and treatment.

“It is important for people to be aware of their status as it provides important information that can help keep them healthy,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health.

Medicines to treat HIV can help keep people with HIV healthy for many years, and greatly reduce the chance of transmitting HIV.

Using condoms helps to protect against HIV as well as syphilis, gonorrhea or chlamydia.

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