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Oakland County Offers Free HIV Testing In Recognition of World AIDS Day

Public Date: 11/30/2012 12:00 AM
Contact: Kathleen Forzley, R.S., M.P.A., Manager
Phone Number: 248-858-1410

Pontiac, Michigan -- Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) will offer free HIV testing with results in 15 minutes next week in Recognition of World AIDS Day at the following Oakland Community College campuses:

  • 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, Orchard Ridge Student Center,
    27055 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills

  • 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, Royal Oak Student Center,
    739 South Washington, Royal Oak
World AIDS day is Saturday, Dec. 1. No testing will occur on that day.
 
"The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 needs to be tested for HIV," said Shane Bies, public health nursing services administrator at OCHD. "Those engaging in risky behaviors such as sharing needles and having unprotected sex with multiple partners should be tested more often."
 
HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, can lead to AIDS, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, which was first recognized in 1981. HIV destroys blood cells that help fight off infection. HIV is mainly spreads through unprotected sex, having multiple sex partners, sharing needles, syringes, or other items used to inject drugs. HIV can also be spread from mother to child during pregnancy, birth, or breast-feeding. HIV cannot survive outside the human body and is not spread by air, water, insects, saliva, tears, sweat, and casual contact like shaking hands, sharing dishes, closed-mouth or "social" kissing.
 
Prevent HIV with these tips:
  • Abstain from sexual activity or remain in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.

  • Limit sex partners. The fewer partners you have, the less likely you are to encounter someone who is infected with HIV or another sexually transmitted infection (STI).

  • Use condoms correctly and consistently. Latex condoms are highly effective at preventing transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. "Natural" or lambskin condoms do not provide enough protection against HIV infection.

  • Get tested and treated for STIs. Insist that partners do too.

  • Do not inject drugs. If you inject drugs, counseling and treatment can help you stop or reduce drug use. If you cannot stop injecting drugs, use clean needles when injecting.

  • Obtain medical treatment immediately if potential exposure to HIV occurs. HIV medications can prevent infection if started quickly.
"There are over 1 million people living with HIV in the U.S. and one in five of those people do not know they are infected," Bies said. "Getting an HIV test is important for everyone. There have been studies that show early treatment of HIV may delay the onset of AIDS."
 
AIDS has killed more than 25 million people worldwide, including more than 583,000 Americans. It is estimated that over 16,000 people with AIDS die each year.
 
For more information about confidential, anonymous HIV counseling, testing, and referral services, call 248-858-5416 or visit www.oakgov.com/health or www.facebook.com/publichealthOC.
 
For media inquiries only, contact Shane Bies, public health nursing services administrator of the Oakland County Health Division at 248-858-1409.