SAN BERNARDINO – The 14th annual National HIV Testing Day will be observed on Friday, June 27, 2008 by the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health and its community-based partners. This campaign was established to encourage people particularly those at-risk of becoming infected with HIV, to get tested and receive HIV counseling and education.
There were more than 300 new cases of HIV/AIDS reported in the County in 2007. African Americans are most affected by this disease. They make up 10 percent of the County’s population, but accounted for 25 percent of the County’s HIV/AIDS cases in 2007. New HIV infections among Hispanics also continue to rise. HIV/AIDS among Hispanics accounted for 29 percent of the cases reported last year.
“It’s alarming that more than one million Americans are estimated to be living with HIV, but nearly one-fourth do not realize that they are infected,” noted Margaret Beed, M.D., health officer, San Bernardino County Department of Public Health. “As a result, these individuals do not receive the medical care that could help them live longer, fuller lives. Without knowing their status, they may also be spreading HIV to others.”
The County now provides the OraQuick Advance Rapid HIV 1/2 test. The rapid test provides a quick and good way for a person to test for HIV and get the result in as little as 20 minutes. The test is very accurate and can be performed by collecting small amounts of oral fluid or a drop of blood from a finger stick. The rapid test is now available through the San Bernardino County AIDS Program. Individuals interested in the rapid test should call 1-800-255-6560, to make an appointment with a testing counselor.
This year, the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health will team up with Bienestar Human Services, Brothers and Sisters in Action (BASIA), Foothills AIDS Project (FAP) and the Inland AIDS Project (IAP) to provide free rapid HIV counseling and testing at the following locations:
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Stater Bros. parking lot, 444 East Baseline Street, San Bernardino, CA 92410
Friday, June 27, 2008 – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Stater Bros. parking lot, 648 West 4th Street, San Bernardino, CA 92410