Organizations giving out free HIV screenings for National HIV Testing Day

Edmonton nightclub opens its doors to break down stigma around HIV testing

The organizations are offering free HIV screenings outside Walgreens stores in different locations nationally. "We help people get the care that they need if they are positive or should they want to be on PrEP to stay negative".

In Club 99ten during a media availability, NDP MLA David Shepherd, representing the provincial government, had his blood taken for an HIV test to show support for the event.

But HIV isn't the death sentence that it used to be, unless it goes undetected.

"The biggest change is that we have lot more tools as far as living with HIV and preventing HIV", he said. The medication is available by prescription from your primary care physician or infectious disease physician.

"If a person who is undetectable gets their viral load down to a suppressed level they are actually not able to transmit the disease to anyone else", he said.

He added: "Others may not know how far we've come in HIV care".

According to the CDC, approximately 1 in 7 people in the United States who have HIV do not know they have it. Getting HIV testing is the only way to know whether a patient has HIV.

Today is National HIV Testing Day and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is taking this opportunity to share information about medical advances that allow those diagnosed with HIV to live long, healthy, happy lives.

The issue stemming from stigma is that people are scared due to the blame and shame society places on those infected with HIV, said Keegan.

Officials also recommended pre-exposure prophylaxis, which is usually a daily medication taken to protect against exposure to the virus via sex or intravenous drug use. In turn, that helps reduce new HIV infections since those who have their virus under control through treatment have effectively no risk of transmitting it to their sexual partners. 'We do have a rise especially in our younger population.

"We're trying to get the word out", says Laura Fredrickson, HIV and AIDS Coordinator at the Marquette County Health Department.



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