Protect Yourself, Protect the Ones You Love (NORWALK, Connecticut) – In an effort to raise awareness about HIV, the Norwalk Health Department will offer free HIV testing on Valentine’s Day.
Testing will be available on Monday, February 14, 2022, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Norwalk Health Department located at 137 East Ave, Norwalk, CT.
No appointment is necessary, and results are ready in less than 20 minutes.
According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, in 2020, 174 new HIV infections were reported in Connecticut. Most newly diagnosed HIV cases in 2020 were amongst men (73.6%). The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that nearly 40% of new HIV infections are transmitted by someone who does not know that they have the virus. The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested for it. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) destroys cells that fight disease which weakens the immune system. HIV can be transmitted through bodily fluids, sexual contact, and sharing drug injection equipment.
Currently there is no cure for HIV but there is medical treatment that can control the virus. For HIV-positive individuals, antiretroviral therapy (ART) slows the progression of the disease by suppressing the HIV virus, eventually to an undetectable level. Once the HIV virus is at an undetectable level, it cannot be transmitted to others. 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. For those with specific risk factors, CDC recommends getting tested at least once a year.
For more information:
• Norwalk Health Department Sexual Health Clinic: https://www.norwalkct.org/765/Sexual-Health-Clinic
• CT Department of Public Health Sexually Transmitted Diseases Control Program: https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Infectious-Diseases/STD/SexuallyTransmitted-Diseases-Control-Program
• HIV Basics from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/index.html