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posted on November 28, 2012 15:00

Southwest District Health
P. O. Box 850
Caldwell, ID 83606
(208) 455-5300
FAX (208) 454-7722

News Release
November 28, 2012
                                                
MEDIA CONTACT:            
Laurie Boston

(208) 455-5325
(208) 899-1268 cell

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                

HEALTH DISTRICT OFFERS FREE HIV TESTING

Many Factors Place Youth At Risk

In recognition of World AIDS Day on December 1, Southwest District Health will offer free, confidential HIV quick tests on a walk-in basis on Friday, November 30, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at their Canyon County facility located at 13307 Miami Lane near the corner of Highway 55 & Florida in Caldwell. No appointment is necessary.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports about one in four of the 50,000 people that are infected with HIV each year in the U. S. are between the ages of 13 and 24. Young gay and bisexual men and African Americans are the most affected.

“More than half of the youth living with HIV are unaware they are infected, so World Aids Day is a call to action to promote the importance of HIV testing. It is true in Idaho as well that men having sex with men (MSM) continues to be the most reported mode of exposure,” said Jennifer Tripp, Public Health Program Manager for Southwest District Health. “Early diagnosis can lead to timely care and treatment and reduce the potential of unknowingly spreading the virus,” she said.

The risk for HIV for most youth begins when they begin having unprotected sex or injecting drugs. Having sex while under the influence of alcohol or drugs may lead to more risky behavior and increase the risk of becoming infected with HIV.

According to Tripp, the process is a simple screening using blood from a finger stick that provides results in 15 to 20 minutes. If the initial screening is positive, blood will then be drawn from the patient and sent to the State Lab for confirmation.

World AIDS Day first emerged on December 1, 1988, from the World Summit of Ministers of Health on Programs for AIDS Prevention to open channels of communication, strengthen the exchange of information, and forge a spirit of social tolerance.

For more information, call 208.455.5345.

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