Thursday, June 27 (today) is National HIV Testing Day in St. Louis and throughout the United States. City of St. Louis statistical data shows 3,430 cases of people living with HIV last year in the City of St. Louis. In 2017, the number of people living with HIV in the city was 3,411. “Reducing the number of HIV cases is imperative to the overall health of the City of St. Louis,” says Mayor Lyda Krewson. “Making testing available for free is one way we can help our residents know their status and get them the help they need,” says Krewson.
The earlier the diagnosis of HIV, the sooner a doctor can prescribe medications for treatment. “Starting treatment as soon as possible can help lower the amount of the virus in a person’s body,” says Dr. Fredrick Echols, director of health for the City of St. Louis. “With a lower viral load, a person with HIV can continue to live a healthy life for many years, with the proper medications.”
Department of Health staff are extending the hours today (Thursday) for the Health Stop sexual health center at 1520 Market. This FREE testing and resource center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. It takes about 15 minutes for HIV testing and results to be made available.
Additional testing locations throughout the city are available through community partners. Hours at the following sites are from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Walgreens at Kingshighway and North Grand (hosted by Williams and Associates Inc.)
- Walgreens on Lindell (hosted by St. Louis Effort for AIDS)
- Walgreens at Grand and Gravois (hosted by Williams and Associates Inc.)
This year’s national theme, “Doing It My Way,” asks individuals to share their stories about how and why they get tested and why it is important. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone between the ages of 13-64 get tested for HIV at least once each year as part of routine health care. Persons with certain risk factors should get tested more often.
For addition information on the “Doing It My Way” campaign, visit the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/features/hivtesting/index.html.
Department of Health
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