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(December 1, 2022 9:24 AM) The Jackson County Health Department would like to remind the community that Thursday, December 1, 2022 is World AIDS Day. This year, the United States Government’s theme is “Putting Ourselves to the Test: Achieving Equity to End HIV . The theme encourages people to unite globally to eliminate the disparities and inequities that create barriers to HIV testing, prevention, and access to HIV care. First observed in 1988, World AIDS Day is a day to unite, to help end HIV, and to remember those lost to AIDS-related illnesses. World AIDS Day remains as relevant today as it has always been, reminding people and governments that HIV has not gone away.

The 2022 World AIDS Day theme also emphasizes accountability and action by highlighting the importance of HIV testing. “Everyone should get tested for HIV and know their status. We are advancing a status-neutral approach to HIV testing that puts equity at the forefront. Under this approach, no matter what the outcome of the test, people should be connected with the necessary HIV prevention and treatment services, including strategies to address social determinants of health and barriers to access,” said Kaye Hayes, HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Infectious Disease and the Director of the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends people ages 13-64 get tested for HIV at least once in their lifetime and people at higher risk for HIV get tested at least annually. Healthcare providers may find it beneficial to test some sexually active gay and bisexual men more frequently (e.g., every three to six months).

Free rapid HIV testing is offered at the Jackson County Health Department located at 1715 Lansing Avenue, in Jackson, Michigan. Nurses are available to perform testing Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays between the hours of 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information, please call the Sexual Health Clinic at (517) 788-4477.

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