Free HIV testing across the Lowcountry

(Felicia Allyn/WCIV)

By Tessa

MOUNT PLEASANT, S. C. (WCIV)- Nearly a quarter of million people do not know their HIV status. And that has medical experts and HIV/AIDS activists working overtime to get the word out about the importance of getting tested for HIV/AIDS.

HIV cases in South Carolina are on the rise. In the tri-county area that includes Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley counties, there were 251 newly diagnosed HIV cases in 2009-2010. That figure represents 16 percent of the total cases diagnosed in the state.

With Wednesday being National HIV/AIDS Testing Day, medical experts want to see as many people getting tested as possible. They hope to accomplish this by offering free HIV testing.

"Every adult between age 13 and 65 should know their HIV status,"says SCDHEC Region 7 medical director, Dr. Kathryn Arden. "That should be a part of our routine medical care to be tested."

Members of the African-American community are more disproportionately affected.

"In our tri-county area, we particularly like to see our African-American men who have sex with men be tested annually as long as risk behaviors continue."

Virginia King, director of prevention services at Lowcountry AIDS Services agrees,"The epidemic has now changed its face."

SCDHEC is offering free testing today at all of its health clinics. Click here to see a listing. You must make an appointment.

Lowcountry AIDS Services is sponsoring a free HIV testing event on the main campus of Trident Tech in building 410, on the second floor. Their office at{} 3547 Meeting Street Road will have extended hours. No appointment is needed.


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