Home Georgia & USA DHEC: Free HIV testing offered on World AIDS Day, December 1

DHEC: Free HIV testing offered on World AIDS Day, December 1

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) — As part of World AIDS Day, state health officials are offering residents free screenings at local health departments across the state on Thursday.

World AIDS Day, celebrated on December 1 each year, is dedicated to those living with HIV and those who have died, and is a day of unity in the fight against HIV.

“CDC estimates that 15% of the more than 20,000 South Carolinians living with HIV do not know their status. Undiagnosed people are at risk of contracting HIV,” said Ali Mansaray, director of DHEC’s Division of Venereal Diseases, HIV and Viral Hepatitis. “We must work together to find and connect these fellow South Carolinians with medical care for their sake and for our communities.”

As of December 31, 2020, there were approximately 19,437 residents living with HIV/AIDS, according to state officials. A significant part of newly diagnosed residents are people aged 20 to 29.

In addition to Thursday’s free testing, DHEC is also touting its Data to Care program, which supports HIV-positive people and helps them navigate the continuum of health care and treatment.

The agency is also hosting World AIDS Day in the Charleston area on Thursday. You can find a testing location near your area here.

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