Tommorrow is National HIV Testing Day. Here at the CARE Program we offer free confiendtial oral HIV testing with results in twenty minutes. Stop by for your your test!
National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) is an annual campaign coordinated by the National Association of People with AIDS to encourage people of all ages to "Take the Test, Take Control."
Too many people don't know they have HIV. In the United States, nearly 1.2 million people are living with HIV, and almost one in five don't know they are infected. In Long Beach, the numbers are even worse. It's estimated that there are 6,000 positive people in Long Beach, and a quarter of them don't know it. That means strategies like avoiding people who are positive will actually increase your risk, since you'll be dipping into the pool with so many undiagnosed and untreated people. We know that those who are recently infected and those not receiving care will have higher viral loads and are more likely to transmit the virus.
Getting tested is the first step to finding out if you have HIV. If you have HIV, getting medical care and taking medicines regularly helps you live a longer, healthier life and also lowers the chances of passing HIV on to others. Here at the CARE Program we offer comprehensive services to people living with HIV. We are one of only a handful of hospital-based programs, offering treatment to 1500 people every year.
In our HIV medical and dental clinics combined, that translates into over 40,000 patient visits a year. For individuals to thrive with HIV it's important that the whole person is taken into consideration. To help newly diagnosed clients navigate the system we offer case management services, nutritional counseling in conjunction with our food bank, individual mental health counseling and support groups, an on-site housing office, and nurse case management for home-bound clients. We can also help individuals enroll in benefit programs to help pay for their medications.