Charlotte, NC – The Mecklenburg County Health Department, in partnership with Grier Heights Barbershop, is offering free, curbside HIV tests, Friday, June 27, as part of National HIV Testing Day.
This year marks the 32nd anniversary of the HIV epidemic, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV is most commonly spread through unprotected sex, sharing of needles with an HIV-infected person, or transmission from an infected mother to her baby.
In 2012, there were 318 new HIV disease cases reported in Mecklenburg County. According to the most recent data, nearly 5,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS County-wide. While these numbers show a decline of HIV cases they do not include those people who are HIV positive and unaware of their status.
Many strides have been made in the fight against HIV, particularly in the area of medical treatment. People can live for years with HIV infection especially with the proper medication and care. However, it’s important for people to know their HIV status, be diagnosed early, and get linked to physician care to help ensure the best health outcomes.
“It is estimated that one in five people infected with HIV in the United States don’t know it,” says Dr. Marcus Plescia, Mecklenburg County Health Department director. “Therefore, it is now recommended that everyone ages 13 to 64 be tested at least once as part of their routine health care.”
On Friday, June 27,10 a.m. – 2 p.m., free HIV testing will be available at Grier Heights Barbershop, 3239 Sam Drenan Road Charlotte, NC. In addition, the County offers walk-in testing five days a week at the Southeast Campus, 249 Billingsley Road, Charlotte and Northwest Campus, 2845 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte and at community based sites at non-traditional times and locations.
You can find more information about HIV in Mecklenburg County and testing sites here or by calling 704-432-TEST (8378).
Media Contact: Rebecca Carter at 704-301-7618 or rebecca.carter@mecklenburgcountyNC.gov