CMDHD offers free HIV testing

OSCEOLA COUNTY — National HIV Testing Day is an annual event meant to raise awareness of the importance of knowing one’s HIV status and encourage at-risk individuals to receive an HIV test.

Too many people don't know they have HIV. In the U.S., nearly 1.2 million people are living with HIV, and almost one in six don't know they are infected. Getting tested is the first step to finding out if you have HIV. If you have HIV, getting medical care and taking medicines regularly helps you live a longer, healthier life and also lowers the chances of passing HIV on to others.

The Central Michigan District Health Department is offering HIV testing at no charge along with free STD testing.

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. This is a virus that causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). HIV is different from most other viruses because it attacks the immune system. The immune system gives our bodies the ability to fight infections. HIV finds and destroys a type of white blood cell (T cells or CD4 cells) that the immune system must have to fight diseases.

HIV is spread through any sexual contact with an infected individual, through sharing needles with someone who has the virus, or through an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy, during the birth process, or while breastfeeding.

Testing dates are as follows:

  • Clare County: Thursday, June 26
  • Isabella County: Friday, June 27

Along with HIV and STD testing at no charge, we will be giving away free $10 Wal-Mart gift cards to the first 20 people who make an appointment to get tested. You may test confidentially or anonymously.

To schedule an appointment, call Clare County at (989) 539-6731 ext. 8211, or Isabella County at (989) 773-5921 ext. 8409.