Greenwich Department of Health offers free HIV testing

In recognition of National HIV Testing Day, the Greenwich Department of Health encourages residents to get tested for HIV. The Department’s Office of Special Clinical Services will be offering free confidential walk-in testing on Tuesday, June 27, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additional times are available by appointment. The office is located on the third floor of Greenwich Town Hall.

Each year the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) observes this day to raise awareness about the importance of HIV testing and early diagnosis of HIV.  Their goal is to encourage HIV testing to ensure people know their status, and get linked to care and treatment services.

The CDC estimates that 1.2 million people in the U. S. are living with HIV and that number grows by almost 45,000 every year. One is seven people who have HIV don’t know they are infected.  According to the State Department of Public Health, over 10,000 Connecticut residents are known to be living with HIV.  More than 90% of new HIV infections in the U.S. could be prevented by testing and diagnosing people who have HIV and ensuring that they receive early ongoing care and treatment.

The only way to know if you are infected with HIV is to get tested.  The CDC recommends that everyone 13 to 64 years old be tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care, and people with certain risk factors get tested more often.  People with more than one sex partner, people with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and people who inject drugs are likely to be at high risk and should get tested at least once a year. For more information about testing and counseling, contact the Greenwich Department of Health, Office of Special Clinical Services at 203-622-6460.

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