As part of the National HIV Testing Day the City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) is encouraging residents to know their HIV status by getting a free HIV test.
National HIV Testing Day is recognized on Monday, June 27. This year’s theme, ‘HIV Testing is Self-Care,’ emphasizes that HIV testing is one of the many ways to take control of your health and boost your wellbeing, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Knowing your HIV status is one of the most powerful tools available to each individual for prevention and prompt access to available treatment options” said City-County Local Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza. “Having access to HIV testing, prophylaxis such as PrEP, or appropriate treatment improves everyone’s quality of life. DPH serves our community with a status-neutral approach, where everybody will be treated the same regardless of HIV status”
The confidential and anonymous test is available with or without an appointment every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4:30 p.m. at the HIV Prevention Center located at 701 Montana Avenue. After-hour testing is available the third Wednesday of each month from 5 to 8 p.m.
Testing is especially important to reduce HIV transmission, as 2,372 El Paso County residents live with HIV, 114 of whom were newly diagnosed with HIV in 2019. Based on 2019 data from the Texas Department of State Health Services, 94,844 individuals were living with HIV in Texas and 4,203 were newly diagnosed. Nationwide, according to the CDC, an estimated 1,059,784 adults and adolescents were diagnosed with HIV in the United States at the end of 2019, the most recent year for which this information is available.
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