Photo: EP Department of Public Health

Department of Public Health to offer free HIV testing

In observance of National HIV Testing Day, the Department of Public Health’s HIV Prevention Program will offer free HIV testing Tuesday.

Testing will take place at 701 Montana from June 25 to June 28, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“This year’s theme is ‘Doing it My Way’ and we want to provide that opportunity for people to empower themselves by knowing their status,” said Irene Ovalle, HIV Prevention Program Manager. “Whether a person visits a private doctor’s office, a neighborhood clinic, or our program, what’s important is that they are taking the time to empower themselves.”

The number of people with HIV in the El Paso area continues to increase, with 133 new cases identified in 2017 (most recent data available).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1.1 million people in the United States have HIV, and one in seven people don’t know they have been infected.

The 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 those at higher risk should get tested more often.

National HIV Testing Day was first observed on June 27, 1995 and is a day set aside to encourage people to get tested for HIV, know their status, and get linked to care and treatment.

The testing takes about one minute and participants will know their status the same day. For more information click here and select on HIV Prevention under “Services” or call 915-212-6625.