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DOH-Seminole - Free HIV Testing During Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

February 06, 2019

Sanford, Fla. - The Florida Department of Health in Seminole County (DOH-Seminole) will be providing free HIV testing during National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). Coordinated by the Strategic Leadership Council, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is observed each year on February 7th to increase HIV education, testing, community involvement, and treatment among black communities. Free HIV testing will take place on Thursday, February 7th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Walgreens located at 2501 S. French Avenue, Sanford, FL 32773. The community is also invited to an HIV and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) presentation at the New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church located at 618 10th Street, Sanford, Florida 32771 on Sunday, February 10th at 10 a.m.

"It is important to be well informed about HIV, know how to prevent it, where to get tested and where to receive treatment when diagnosed as HIV positive. Knowing the facts on HIV can help reduce misunderstandings and decrease stigma associated with HIV," said Donna Walsh, health officer for the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County.

This year NBHAAD's theme, Together for Love: Stop HIV Stigma, focuses on our shared responsibility for taking actions to help end HIV stigma-negative attitudes or beliefs about people with HIV. Stigma affects the emotional well-being and mental health of people who have HIV and can keep people from getting tested and treated for HIV. Ending HIV stigma is critical to reducing new HIV infections among African Americans and helping African Americans with HIV stay healthy.

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (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. In July 2012, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Truvada (TDF/FTC) for use as PrEP in HIV prevention in sexually active HIV-negative individuals. PrEP should be used in conjunction with other prevention methods to reduce the risk of infection. DOH-Seminole provides PrEP services on Wednesday morning from 8:30 to 11:30am. To schedule an appointment call (407) 665-3700.

For more information and to learn more about PrEP and testing visit www.seminolecohealth.com.

About the Florida Department of Health

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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