FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
June 24, 2011 Contact: William Gerrish
HIV tests will be available free-of-charge at numerous locations throughout state
Hartford – In recognition of National HIV Testing Day, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) is encouraging Connecticut residents to get tested for HIV.
In Connecticut, 10,290 people were known to be living with HIV at the end of 2009; and during 2005-2009, 2,115 people were newly diagnosed with HIV infection. Federal health officials estimate that 20% of people with HIV infection do not know they are infected.
“As with many other health conditions, early detection is key with HIV infection” stated DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “Unfortunately almost 40 percent of people with HIV are not diagnosed until they already have developed AIDS and may have been infected for up to 10 years prior to the diagnosis.”
“Treatments are available to help manage HIV infection and avoid or delay progression to AIDS,” stated Commissioner Mullen. “By getting tested and knowing their HIV status, people with HIV can get treated early and avoid transmitting the virus to others.”
DPH supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations that health care providers include HIV testing as part of routine health care for individuals 13-64 years. “Getting tested for HIV is simple and can be done by your health care provider,” said Commissioner Mullen. “Or people can get tested at agencies supported by DPH to provide free HIV testing.”
The attached list of agencies supported by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) are conducting community HIV testing activities beginning on June 24th and ending on July 1st. Additional information on where to get an HIV test can be found at www.ct.gov/dph/hivtesting or by calling (860) 509-7801. Anyone who is 13 years of age or older can be treated or tested confidentially and without parental consent.
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.