Wednesday, June 27 marks National HIV Testing Day reminding everyone to get tested and know their HIV status.
Those who have never been tested or think they may be at risk can call Marin AIDS Project (MAP) at (415) 457-2487 to find a testing site. MAP offers free HIV testing at its offices and in several other community settings.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1 in 5 people with HIV don’t know they are infected. In Marin this means as many as 150 people don’t know they are HIV positive.
The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested for HIV at least once in their lifetime as part of routine health care. Gay and bisexual men, injection drug users, and people whose partners are HIV+ should be tested at least once a year.
Although HIV testing is easier now than ever, more than half of all Americans have never been tested for HIV.
MAP offers a rapid, HIV test and provides prevention counseling while the results are developing. Results are available in about 30 minutes.
The OraQuick Rapid HIV Test uses an oral swab, so no blood draw is required. All testing is free, confidential and available in English and Spanish. Testing is available at a drop-in clinic every Tuesday from 4:30-7:00 p.m. at Marin AIDS Project, 910 Irwin St. in San Rafael. Call 457-2487 to arrange testing on alternate days/times.
MAP will host an open house on Tuesday, June 26 to drop by for testing and to get more information about HIV and staying safe.
HIV testing is also available at the Marin County Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic at 3260 Kerner Blvd., San Rafael. Call 473-4400 for clinic hours and test costs.
Marin AIDS Project is the only AIDS service organization in Marin County. Services are confidential, offered in English and Spanish. For more information go to www.marinaidsproject.org.