St. Louis County Department of Health offering free testing for National Black HIV/AIDS awareness day

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis County Department of Health is offering free testing events for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is observed annually on Feb. 7 to increase education, testing, community involvement and treatment among black communities.

The annual event is also observed to give people an opportunity to reflect on the impact that HIV and AIDS have had on people and nations throughout the world. In addition, it serves as an opportunity to unify in response to the epidemic, increase awareness, celebrate the great strides made in prevention, care, and treatment, support people living with AIDS, and honor those that have been lost to AIDS. The goal is an AIDS-free generation.

In conjunction with the City of St. Louis Department of Health and Williams and Associates Inc., persons who come for the free screenings will be able to receive STI and HIV screening. Rapid screening, which takes only 15-20 minutes, will be available for HIV and hepatitis C.

Screenings Locations for free STI and HIV Testing:

North Central Community Health Center (Buzz Westfall Room) 4000 Jennings Station Road, Pine Lawn, MO 63121
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Williams and Associates Inc.; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

1114 North Sarah Street; St. Louis (63113) Free Screenings for HIV and Hepatitis C

Williams and Associates Inc.; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

3737 N. Kingshighway Boulevard; St. Louis (63115) Free Screenings for HIV and Hepatitis C

City of St. Louis Department of Health; 10:00 a.m. – 2 p.m.

1520 Market Street; 1st Floor Lobby; St. Louis (63103) Free Screenings for HIV and Educational Information

“When the HIV epidemic first started in the ‘80s, it was considered a death sentence,” Dr. Faisal Khan, Director of the Saint Louis County Department of Public Health, said in a statement. “But with the biomedical advancements made since then, it can now be treated much more like a chronic disease. However, before treatment can begin, people need to know they have it. The sooner treatment is started, the better the prognosis. Testing is the key.”

Added Melba Moore, Director and Commissioner of Health for the City of St. Louis Department of Health, “Through continued coordination of regional prevention efforts, screenings, and treatments, we are working with all of our regional and community partners to close the gap on HIV by enabling and empowering our communities to access the services they need.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), AIDS affects 1.2 million people in the United States, and 1 in 8 of those people do not know they have it. To stop its spread, it is recommended that anyone who is sexually active get tested regularly.

Anyone unable to attend the free HIV screening event, but who is interested in obtaining free HIV testing and screening for other sexually transmitted infections should visit www.STLCondoms.com.

Free STI and HIV screening is regularly offered by both the City and County health departments.

For more information about World AIDS Day, St. Louis County officials ask the public to visit www.cdc.gov/features/worldaidsday/index.html.

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