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Florida Department of Health Highlights Importance of Knowing Your Status on National Hiv Testing Day

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

June 27, 2017


Florida Department of Health Highlights Importance of Knowing Your Status on National Hiv Testing Day

Contact:
Communications Office
NewsMedia@flhealth.gov
(850) 245-4111

Tallahassee, Fla. — Today, the Florida Department of Health joins communities across the nation in recognizing National HIV Testing Day and encourages every Floridian to know their HIV status. 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 and that people with certain risk factors get tested more often.

“Early detection of HIV through testing is crucial to ensure that HIV infected individuals lead long, healthy lives by preventing the potentially devastating effects of this disease,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. Celeste Philip. “By knowing your status, you can be linked to timely and effective treatment and lower the risk of transmitting the virus to others. I strongly encourage all Floridians to know their status and get tested through your health care provider or your county health department.”

Florida is a national leader in HIV testing with a wide-range of statewide services. The department provides high-quality HIV testing services using the latest testing technology at each of the 67 county health departments. Last year, over 367,000 tests were conducted. Testing is also performed through private doctor’s offices and other community-based testing sites.

The department is committed to reducing the incidence of HIV infections to allow more Floridians to live longer, healthier lives. To accomplish this, the department is focused on four key strategies to make an even greater impact on reducing HIV rates in Florida, including:

  • Routine screening for HIV and implementation of CDC testing guidelines;
  • Increased testing among high-risk populations and providing immediate access to treatment as well as re-engaging HIV positive persons into the care system, with the ultimate goal of getting HIV positive persons to an undetectable viral load;
  • The use of PrEP and nPEP as prevention strategies to reduce the risk of contracting HIV; and
  • Increased community outreach and awareness about HIV, high-risk behaviors, the importance of knowing one’s status and if positive, quickly accessing and staying in treatment.

Testing can be completed at your local county health department or you can locate HIV counseling, testing and referral sites by visiting www.KnowYourHIVStatus.com or texting your zip code to 477493.

For more information, call the Florida AIDS Hotline at: 1-800-FLA-AIDS or 1-800-352-2437; En Espanol, 1-800-545-SIDA; In Creole, 1-800-AIDS-101.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.