ALERT: NCHD Offices Closed Dec. 24 & 25 for Christmas READ MORE

North Central Health District

COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENTS

North Central Health District County Health Departments Offer Free HIV Tests for World AIDS Day

SHARE

Know Your Status by Getting Tested and Protecting Yourself 

Dec. 1 marks the 29th annual World AIDS Day, which began as an effort to increase awareness. The day has evolved over the years to expand beyond awareness by celebrating the advancements in prevention and treatment, support individuals and families affected by the disease and honor those lost to AIDS. In recognition of World AIDS Day, all 13 North Central Health District (NCHD) county health departments will offer free HIV testing.

Anyone interested in learning their status can visit their local health department and receive free testing without an appointment. Each health department will be offering testing during these hours on Dec. 1, unless otherwise stated:

  • Baldwin County Health Department: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Crawford County Health Department: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Hancock County Health Department: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Houston County Health Department: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Jasper County Health Department: 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Jones County Health Department: Thursday, Nov. 30, 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Macon-Bibb County Health Department: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Monroe County Health Department: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Peach County Health Department: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Putnam County Health Department: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Twiggs County Health Department: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Washington County Health Department: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Wilkinson County Health Department: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is a virus spread by the exchange of certain body fluids. HIV can be transmitted through sexual contact, by sharing needles used to inject drugs and by a mother to her child during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding. Once the virus enters a person, it attacks the immune system, reducing the body’s ability to fight disease and other infections. Left untreated, HIV can continue to weaken the immune system and lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), the final stage of HIV.

Though there is no cure for HIV, a person can reduce the risk of transmission in a number of ways. Using condoms properly every time during sexual contact and reducing the number of sex partners can reduce the chance of infection. A person who avoids injecting drugs has a lower risk than a person who does. People who inject drugs can reduce the risk of HIV infection by not sharing needles. If a person is at very high risk, he or she should talk to their healthcare provider about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) which can help prevent the transmission of HIV. Everyone at risk of HIV infection is advised to get tested regularly. Those with a higher risk should get tested more often.

NCHD is committed to fighting the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in the community. In addition to providing HIV and STD testing, each of NCHD’s county health departments offers STD treatment, counseling and education. All services are completely confidential and administered by our expert team of licensed nurses and counselors. For more information on NCHD’s HIV and STD services, visit NCHD52.org/STD.

For more information on HIV, visit cdc.gov/hiv.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to receive news, emergency messages and health information!

Comments are closed.