CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The state Department of Health and Environmental Control is encouraging South Carolinians to get tested for HIV as National HIV Testing Day approaches.
"More than 16,000 individuals are currently living with HIV/AIDS in South Carolina," DHEC Director of Health Services Lisa Davis said. "Early detection through testing for HIV remains essential to successfully identifying and treating the disease and is critical to preventing new infections."
One in eight people living with HIV in the United States don't know that they have it.
"Most people in the early stages of HIV infection have no symptoms," Davis said. "Early diagnosis can link people to services that will help them stay healthy longer, benefit most from treatment, reduce costly hospital visits and help prevent transmission to others."
This year, testing and other events will be held at the following locations across the state in observance of National HIV Testing Day, which is Monday:
Thursday: HopeHealth Edisto Partner Testing located at 1857 Joe S. Jeffords Highway in Orangeburg, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Also, Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services is sponsoring testing at Walgreens located at 1223 St. Andrews Rd. in Columbia from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday: Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services will host testing at Walgreens located at 1223 St. Andrews Rd. in Columbia from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Monday: Fetter Health Care Network, at 51 Nassau St. in Charleston from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. is offering testing. Also, you can attend the Backyard BBQ Bash at 1228 Harden St. in Columbia from 2 p.m. - 7 p.m. If you're in Elgin, you can go to Sandhills Medical Foundation, at 2468 Main St. from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. In Hartsville, stop by Walgreens at 901 S. 5th St. from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Also, in Spartanburg, you can go to the Wells Fargo Building located at 101 N. Pine St. Ste. 200 from 8:30 a.m. - noon; 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
For more information about HIV testing, as well as local HIV testing sites, call DHEC's AIDS/STD Hotline at (800) 322-AIDS, or visit DHEC's website at scdhec.gov/HIV.