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Free HIV testing set for next week

Confidential events part of World AIDS Day

POSTED: November 23, 2017 2:00 p.m.

The Coastal Health District Prevention Program will provide free and confidential HIV testing on Nov. 29 and Dec. 1 in observance of World AIDS Day. All events are open to the public.

Testing will be available at the following times and locations:

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 29 at Union Event Room C at Savannah State University.From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 1 at Health Department locations in Bryan, Camden, Chathem Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long and McIntosh counties.From 6-8 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Brunswick Job Corps Center in Brunswick.

According to Coastal Health District, the South has an extremely disproportionate burden of HIV disease when compared with other regions of the U.S. In 2015, the Southern region accounted for an estimated 38 percent of the total U.S. population, yet an estimated 50 percent of all new HIV diagnoses (at any stage of the disease) occurred in the South – a rate that is alarmingly disproportional to its population. The South also has the highest rate of stage-three HIV infections (AIDS) as an estimated 9.2/100,000 people living with HIV in the South are living with AIDS, and survival rates from AIDS are also the lowest nationally. Nationally, 40 percent of all people living with AIDS reside in the South.

World AIDS Day is observed each year on Dec. 1 and is an opportunity to bring awareness to HIV and HIV prevention, show support for people living with HIV, highlight efforts to combat HIV, and remember those who have died from the disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 36.7 million people are living with HIV/AIDS around the world. Each year, more than 1 million people die from AIDS-related causes and 2.1 million people become newly infected by HIV. Global efforts to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS are helping but it continues to pose a serious public health threat.

The Coastal Health District HIV/AIDS program currently serves 1,398 clients living with HIV/AIDS throughout the eight-county district (Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties).

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