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DOH-Seminole Free HIV Testing in Observance of National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

By Mirna Chamorro

October 11, 2018

SANFORD, Fla. – In observance of National Latino AIDS Awareness DAY (NLAAD), the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County (DOH-Seminole) is offering free HIV and Hepatitis testing on Friday, October 12th from 8:30 – 11:00am and 1:30 – 3:30pm at the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County located at 400 West Airport Boulevard, Sanford, FL 32773.

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“There are many HIV resources including education, testing, and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) services to assist the community. Lack of awareness of HIV status contributes to HIV transmission. Regular HIV testing is essential to stay HIV negative or start treatment if positive,” said Donna J. Walsh, health officer for the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County.

This year’s National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD) theme is “Ending HIV is everyone’s job.” DOH-Seminole joins the Latino Commission on AIDS (LCOA), the Hispanic Federation and other organizations to reach Latino/Hispanic communities, promote HIV testing and provide HIV prevention information and access to care.

HIV continues to be a serious threat to the health of the Hispanic/Latino community. Hispanic/Latinos in the United States (U.S.) are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS. They represent 18% of the U.S. population yet accounted for almost 1 in 4 (24%) infections among adults and adolescents in 2015. In 2015, there were 9,798 cases of HIV diagnosed among Hispanics/Latinos in the U.S. and 6 dependent areas, including Puerto Rico. Since the beginning of the epidemic, approximately 129,295 Latinos have died from AIDS.

DOH-Seminole provides Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) services. PrEP is a comprehensive HIV prevention strategy that involves the daily use of antiretroviral medications to reduce the risk of HIV infection in HIV-negative individuals. PrEP is a daily pill that used in conjunction with other prevention methods can reduce the risk of HIV infection. PrEP services are offered on Wednesday morning from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Appointments can be scheduled by calling (407) 665-3700.

For more information on free HIV testing contact Enid Santiago-Cruz at (407) 665-3019 or visit www.seminolecohealth.com.

For more information on NLAAD visit www.nlaad.org.

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The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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