3 days of free screening lead up to National HIV Testing Day
Community organizations across Tucson are offering free and confidential HIV testing Thursday, Friday and Saturday, marking the 21st annual National HIV Testing Day.
In Pima County, more than 1,000 people are believed to be infected and unaware of it, said Andrés Cano, an aide to Supervisor Richard Elías, while nearly 16,000 across the state were living with HIV/AIDS in 2013, according to Arizona Department of Health Services data.
To promote screening, Elías and Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild were tested Thursday morning, with the mayor noting that it "took just 15 minutes to get the results."
"HIV affects people from all walks of life, no matter your age, race, or sexual orientation," Elías said. "The best thing we can do for our health, and for our loved ones, is to know our HIV status, and make HIV testing a routine healthcare priority."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all Americans aged 13–64 be routinely tested for HIV.
Partners in the local call for testing include the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, Walgreens, COPE Community Services, the Pima County Health Department, and CODAC’s Living Out Loud clinic.
Although still often stigmatized as a disease affecting gay men, AIDS and HIV infection rates are not uncommon among other segments of the population. About 11 percent of those infected in Arizona are heterosexual, according to ADHS data, with another 10 percent having contracted HIV through intravenous drug use. About 60 percent of the total HIV/AIDS population in the state are men who have had sex with men, while a further 8 percent have the combined risk factors of gay male sex and IV drug use.
- Thursday, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Friday, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Walgreens, 4685 E. Grant Rd.
- Walgreens, 1880 E. Irvington Rd.
- COPE Community Services, 1477 W. Commerce Ct. (Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
- COPE, 620 N. Craycroft Rd. (Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
- Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, 375 S. Euclid Ave. (Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
- Living Out Loud, 3130 E. Broadway