Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Date: June 22, 2017
DOVER, DE (June 22, 2017) - Knowing your status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) gives you powerful information to help you take steps to keep you and your partner healthy. Free testing will be offered at six locations in Delaware on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, in observance of National HIV Testing Day.
"Even if you don't think you're at risk for HIV, it is still vitally important that you get tested so you can be sure of your status," said Division of Public Health (DPH) Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. "If it turns out you are HIV positive, you can take preventive measures to ensure you don't infect a sexual partner or expose others to your blood, which can also spread the virus."
HIV weakens a person's immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. No effective cure exists for HIV, but with proper medical care, it can be controlled. Some groups of people are more likely to get HIV than others because of many factors, including their sexual partners, their risk behaviors, and where they live. The only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care.
The results of HIV testing are usually available within 30 minutes. Tests are confidential and walk-ins are welcome.
"The more people who are aware of their HIV status, the easier it will be to stop the spread of this horrible virus," said Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker, a family physician. "It's estimated that there are 3,500 Delawareans living with HIV and an additional 350 people who are infected and don't know they have the virus. If everyone would take a few minutes out of their day to submit to a free test, we could take significant steps in further preventing the spread of HIV and begin treatment for those who do have the disease."
Testing locations include:
AIDS DelawareLocation: Community Service Building
Beautiful Gate Outreach Center
Location: 604 N. Walnut St., Wilmington, DE
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Contact: Suzanne Saunders Tait, 302-472-3002
Free blood glucose and blood pressure screenings will also be available. Must be 13 years old with a valid photo ID to be tested. Special give-a-ways for those who are already aware of their HIV status and do not need testing but are in need of reconnecting with medical care.
Porter State Service Center
Location: 511 W. 8th St., Wilmington, DE
Time: June 27th, 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Contact: Robert Watkins, 302-777-2872
ID required, on site promotion provided by DJ. Refreshments and bottled water will be provided.
Anna C. Shipley State Service Center
Location: 350 Virginia Ave., Seaford, DE 19973
Time: 9:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Contact: Richard Holaday, 302-628-6772
Free gift bags will be given to all who are tested.
Location: 37 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth, DE 19971
Time: Noon to 8:00 p.m.
Contact: Salvatore Seeley, 302-227-5620
A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person's spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.