National HIV Testing Day Tuesday June 27th

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115 4th Street South Great Falls, Montana 59401 (406) 454-6950

National HIV Testing Day Tuesday June 27th

To celebrate National HIV Testing Day, the Cascade City-County Health Department (CCHD) will be holding a free onsite HIV testing event on Tuesday, June 27th from 1pm-6pm.

Every year, National Association of People with AIDS coordinate a National HIV Testing Day, to encourage people of all ages to learn their HIV status. This year’s theme is “Do It Now. Test Your Way”. Getting tested for HIV is easy, convenient and free at CCHD. Rapid tests allow people to know their HIV status within 15-20 minutes.

More than 90% of new HIV infections in the United States could be prevented by the testing and early diagnosis. Early and ongoing treatment can mitigate the harmful effects of HIV. Learning your status and getting tested for HIV is the first step in the continuum of prevention, care, and treatment services.

“Although HIV is not as prevalent in Montana as some other states, it’s still imperative for the public to be educated and have access to prevention services in order to maintain our low HIV case numbers and keep HIV from becoming the epidemic it once was” says Madison Scofield, CCHD HIV Early Intervention Specialist. “Great Falls has some great preventative resources and we’d like to use this day to make sure the public is fully aware of that” she continues.

Montana has about 600 known cases of HIV compared to the 1.2 million known cases nationwide. Its recommended that anyone between 12-65 should get tested at least once in their lifetime. Those that are higher risk should get tested at least once a year or more often depending on their risk factors.

“Even though HIV doesn’t hold as big of a stigma as it did 20 years ago, talking about it can still make people feel nervous and fearful,” Scofield says. “I think this conversation can be easier by educating people about of their risk, helping people know their status, and giving them accurate information about the disease,” she continues.

In addition to free and confidential onsite testing, CCHD will also be offering plenty of information about HIV. For more information about the National HIV Testing Day Event please visit www.cchdmt.gov or call Madison Scofield, Early Intervention Specialist at (406)-791-2063.