More than 2,000 residents are currently living with HIV in El Paso County, and of those newly diagnosed, 90 percent are Hispanic/Latinx.
In order to reduce these statistics, the City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) is joining departments and agencies across the nation in celebrating National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day.
Although the official celebration took place on Sunday, October 15, 2017, the DPH will provide free testing midweek and after hours in order to accommodate those who work or attend school during the day.
“We want to make sure we are doing everything we can to reach our Hispanic population here in El Paso and do our very best to reach individuals who have never been tested, said Irene Ovalle-Valdez, Program Manager. “We want everyone in our community to know that this life-saving test is free, confidential, and only takes one minute to complete.”
The free HIV testing will take place on Wednesday, October 18, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the HIV Prevention Program located at 701 Montana Avenue. More information is available by calling (915) 212-6665.
Organizers say testing every year is critical so that everyone knows their HIV status. As of 2016, nearly 87,000 people were known to be living with HIV in Texas and nearly 4,500 cases were diagnosed last year alone. In 2015, an estimated 39,500 people were diagnosed with HIV infection in the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in seven individuals living with HIV don’t know their status.