(ITHACA, NY, June 27, 2019) – Have you been tested for HIV? June 27 is National HIV Testing Day and it serves as an important reminder to know your status. By getting tested, you can keep yourself and your community healthy by decreasing the risk of transmission.
The CDC recommends everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once, as part of routine health care. With HIV, the only way to know for sure is to get tested. There are community resources available for testing and information. You can get a fast, free, anonymous HIV test at the Tompkins County Health Department. Call 607-274-6604 to schedule your appointment today.
The Tompkins County Health Department “Talk. Test. Treat.” campaign reminds everyone to:
Talk to your partner about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), including HIV, before you have sex.Test for STIs if you are sexually active.Treat right away if you test positive for an STI.
Confidential, free or low-cost STI testing, treatment, and education can easily be accessed at various locations throughout the county, including Planned Parenthood, Southern Tier AIDS Program, Cornell University, Ithaca College, Tompkins Cortland Community College, and local area private providers. For a complete list of testing sites and contact information, please visit our website at http://tompkinscountyny.gov/health/std, or call (607) 276-6604 for more information.
If you are at high risk for HIV, pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) is a medication that individuals can take daily to lower their chances of getting infected. According to the CDC, daily PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%. Among people who inject drugs, it reduces the risk by more than 70%. Your risk of getting HIV from sex can be even lower if you combine PrEP with condoms and other prevention methods. To find out more information about risk factors, click here:https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/prep.html. Additionally, if you have general questions about PrEP and payment options, contact the Planned Parenthood PrEP Coordinator at 607-273-1526 ext. 2310.