FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
June 16, 2010 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford – In recognition of National HIV Testing Day, local organizations throughout the state funded by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) will provide free HIV testing activities during the week beginning on June 21st and ending on June 27th.
“National HIV Testing Day is a reminder that although there have been significant advances in treatment, education and outreach, the HIV epidemic is still very much a part of our communities nationwide,” stated DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin. “By getting tested and knowing your HIV status early, people with HIV can get the counseling and treatment they need, even before they start to show signs of illness.”
Federal health officials estimate that 25% of HIV infected people in the United States do not know their HIV status. In 2006, an estimated 56,300 new HIV infections occurred in the United States, representing a 40% increase over the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) previous estimate of 40,000 new infections per year. In Connecticut, 19,473 HIV/AIDS cases have been reported from 1981 through 2009 and 8,899 (46%) have died.
“Many people are unaware of their HIV status,” said Commissioner Galvin. “Knowing your HIV status not only allows HIV-infected people to get early treatment, but it also helps in preventing the spread of the virus to others.”
There are several agencies throughout the state that will be offering free HIV testing at no charge. Please see below for a list of agencies, visit www.ct.gov/dph/hivtesting or call (860) 509-7801 to find out where to get tested. Anyone who is 13 years of age or older can be treated or tested confidentially and without parental consent.
The Connecticut General Assembly last year passed House Bill 6391, An Act Concerning Revisions to the HIV Testing Consent Law. This law, which went into effect July 1, 2009, facilitates routine HIV screening in health care settings by eliminating the requirement for a separate written or oral consent for HIV testing. Testing is still voluntary.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.
National HIV Testing Day Activities
Bridgeport – Greater Bridgeport Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program, Mount Aery Baptist Church, Proyecto Nueva Vida (Project New Life) and Optimus Health Care
June 26, 2010, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Washington Park: Offering free health screenings, free food, gift cards for taking an HIV test.
Bridgeport – June 27, 2010, Seaside, Park, starting at 1:00 p.m. - Christ Centered ARMED Ministries and Greater Bridgeport Adolescent Pregnancy Program: baseball games, tug of war, giveaways and offering free HIV testing.
Bridgeport, June 28, 2010, 12:00 pm. - 4:00 p.m. - Bridgeport Health Department: Offering free HIV testing.
Danbury – AIDS Project Greater Danbury
June 25, 2010, 10:00 – 2:00 p.m. – 30 West Street: Offering free HIV and STD screenings, free food and gift cards.
Hartford – AIDS Project Hartford, AIDS Legal Network, Analeh Show, Charter Oak Health Center, Children’s Medical Center/UCONN Pediatric and Youth HIV Program, Community Health Center, CT AIDS Resource Coalition, CT Teens Against Negligence, Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective, House of Pandorah, Latinos Community Services and Southside Institutional Neighborhood Alliance.
June 24, 2010, 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Hartford Hospital Educational Resource Center, 560 Hudson Street, Hartford: Health fair with HIV and STD screenings, talent show, salsa dancing and drag queen show. This event will be targeting young men who have sex with men.
Hartford – Iglesia Pentecostal Ebenezer Church, Latinos Community Services
June 25-26, 2010, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – 170 Seymour Street (between Jefferson and Park Streets): Community outreach event with information on Safety Counts, 3-Schema and social networking interventions. Offering free HIV testing at Latinos Community Services, 184 Wethersfield Avenue. Free condoms and literature will be distributed.
New Britain – Human Resources Agency
June 28, 2010, 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Wellness Resource Center (Someplace Special): Offering free testing.
June 28, 2010, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Human Resources Agency, 88 Prospect Street, New Britain: Offering free HIV testing, free hot dogs and bottled water for persons who get tested.
New Haven – Cornell Scott Hill Health Center, Fair Haven Community Health Center, New Haven Health Department, Yale Community Health Care Van and Yale New Haven Hospital
June 21, 2010, New Haven Health Department, 54 Meadow Street, New Haven: Offering free HIV testing all day.
June 22, 2010, Fair Haven Community Health Center, 374 Grand Avenue, New Haven: Offering free HIV testing all day.
June 23, 2010, Cornell Scott Hill Health Center, 428 Columbus Avenue, New Haven and 226 Dixwell Avenue, New Haven: Offering free HIV testing all day.
June 24, 2010, Yale New Haven Hospital, 20 York Street, Clinic Building, Room 85, New Haven: Offering free HIV testing all day.
June 27, 2010, Yale Community Health Care Van, New Haven Green: Offering free HIV testing all day.
Waterbury – Waterbury Health Department
June 27, 2010, 10:00-4:00, Lakewood Park: Offering free HIV testing, condom distribution and other giveaways.
Willimantic – Generations Family Health Center, Perception Programs, Planned Parenthood, Windham AIDS Program and Windham Regional Community Council
June 26, 2010, 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Jillson Square Park, Willimanitic: Healthy Community Fair: Offering free HIV testing and other health screenings, music, vendors, Native American dancers, Red Ribbon Dance, Jerk Competition and a bike raffle.