Kansans Urged to Get Tested for HIV
National HIV Testing Day is June 27
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one out of five people living with HIV in the U.S. are unaware of their HIV status. National HIV Testing Day on June 27 is an opportunity for people to learn their HIV status and to gain knowledge to take control of their health and their lives.
“HIV remains a devastating disease, but it is preventable and in most cases treatable,” said Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, State Health Officer and Director of the Division of Health at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). “Anyone who is at risk for HIV infection should get tested so that they can know their HIV status and take the necessary steps to protect their health and that of their partners.”
In 2008, 106 Kansans were reported to have become infected with HIV during that year. About 56,300 new HIV infections occur in the U.S. each year, according to CDC. This amounts to one new HIV infection approximately every nine-and-a-half minutes.
African American and Hispanic communities continue to be disproportionately impacted by HIV and AIDS. In Kansas, African Americans accounted for 37.4 percent of newly diagnosed HIV cases in 2008 and 26.4 percent of new AIDS cases. In that same year, Hispanics were diagnosed with 11.3 percent of new HIV cases and 10.4 percent of new AIDS cases. African Americans tend to be the ethnic group most affected by HIV. According to the CDC, in 2006 approximately 45 percent of new cases of HIV occurred in African Americans, even though they comprise only 13 percent of the U.S. population.
“Knowing your status is imperative in curtailing the transmission of HIV,” stated Dr. Eberhart-Phillips.
Communities and organizations across the U.S. will sponsor programs on or about June 27 to call attention to the ever-rising numbers of individuals getting tested for HIV and seek solutions to reduce the spread of the virus. Initiatives planned in recognition of National HIV Testing Day in Kansas include:
- Douglas County AIDS Project (DCAP) will be offering “Walk in” HIV testing located at its offices at the United Way Center 2518 Ridge Court - Suite #101, Lawrence. For more information contact DCAP at 785-843-0040 or visit www.douglascountyaidsproject.org.
- Hunter Health Clinic, Wichita, 2318 East Central will be offering Free HIV testing June 26, 2009 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Everyone tested will receive a free t-shirt. For more information on this testing event please contact Pam Harjo, Health Educator, at
- Sedgwick County Health Department, Wichita, will be coordinating with KU Midtown Internal Medicine Clinic to offer a testing at Colvin Recreation Center in Wichita on June 26, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information on these events contact Mindy Kufahl HIV/STD Public Health Educator, Sedgwick County Health Department, at 316-660-7253.
- Topeka AIDS Project will offer HIV testing at its offices located at 708 S.W. Sixth St., Topeka. For more information on HIV testing, please contact: Amy Wethington, Prevention Educator, at 785-232-3100 or visit www.TopekaAidsProject.org.
- Positive Directions, Wichita, will be offering HIV testing at the Center for Health and Wellness on June 25 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and again on June 26 at Vegas Video located at 8323 West Kellogg from noon-5 p.m. For more information, please contact Shawn Walters, Outreach Coordinator Positive Directions Inc., 316-263-2214 x105.
- KU Midtown, Wichita, will have a booth at the Wichita Pride Festival on June 27 and will offer HIV Testing at KU Internal Medicine clinic Midtown, 1125 N. Topeka, Wichita Kansas. For more information on this event please contact Teresa Romey at 316-293-2652.
- Reno County Health Department, Hutchinson, will offer free HIV testing on June 29. For more information, contact Katie Smith Health Educator, Reno County Health Department, at (620) 694-2900 x251 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Riley County-Manhattan Health Department, Manhattan, will offer HIV testing. For more testing information, contact Donna Hart, RN HIV/AIDS Case Manager, at 785-776-4779 ext. 250 or email@example.com
- Regional AIDS Project, Manhattan, will provide informational tables and activities on June 20 during the Pride Picnic at Milford Lake. Informational table with an emphasis on materials promoting getting tested/free walk-in and activities will be provided on June 27th. For more information on these events, contact Dominique Saunders-Matta, Community Organizer, Regional AIDS Project Manhattan, at 785-587-1999.
- Good Samaritan Project, Kansas City, Kansas, will offer HIV testing on June 25 at the Kansas City Kansas Community College. For more information on this event please contact Elnora Powell, Community Prevention Specialist, at 816-561-8784 or www.gspkc.org.
- United Methodist Kansas Mexican American Ministries, Garden City, will offer HIV testing and health education information. For more information, please contact Arturo Ponce, Health Educator, at 620-624-3537.
For a list of HIV testing sites and other information about HIV, visit the Kansas HIV/AIDS Program website at www.kdheks.gov/sti_hiv/. To learn more about the CDC 9 ½ Minute Campaign, please visit www.cdc.gov/nineandahalfminutes/.