Parkland, Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS team up to provide free HIV testingEvents support National HIV Testing Day
DALLAS — In observance of National HIV Testing Day, Parkland Health & Hospital System’s HIV Prevention staff is teaming up with Walgreens, the nation’s largest pharmacy chain, and Greater Than AIDS, a coalition of public and private sector partners united in response to the domestic epidemic, to provide free HIV testing. The service will be available from 2 to 6 p.m. June 27, 2 to 6 p.m. June 28 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 29 at Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy, 3826 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas, 75219.
“We are excited to be proactively reaching out to the Dallas community to help raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with HIV,” said Sylvia Moreno, RN, Parkland’s Director of Nursing in HIV Services. “The goal of National HIV Testing Day is to help everyone learn their HIV status, and through our free HIV testing events this year, I know we are helping people accomplish that.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV and almost one in five do not know they are infected. National HIV Testing Day is an annual campaign to encourage people of all ages to “Take the Test, Take Control.” The day was first observed on June 27, 2005 and was established as an annual observance to promote HIV testing. The CDC reports that getting medical care and taking medicines regularly helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives and also lowers the chance of passing HIV on to others.
Parkland’s HIV Prevention Program provides a comprehensive approach to HIV prevention by offering routine HIV testing in Parkland’s Emergency Department, targeting high-risk individuals to get tested and helping patients make the transition from newly diagnosed to fully-engaged in medical care. In addition, the program offers prevention intervention counseling sessions for HIV patients that encourage and support risk reduction, include activities designed to increase the patient’s knowledge of his or her HIV status, and secure needed referrals for medical, social, prevention and partner services. Comprehensive risk counseling and services are also offered to HIV patients, and an HIV/STI/hepatitis risk reduction program for people returning to the community after incarceration called Project Start is also a part of Parkland’s HIV Prevention Program.
“As a department, we test more than 5,000 people a year for HIV. We are proud to join forces with the Dallas Testing Taskforce for National HIV Testing Day to help the citizens of Dallas be aware of their HIV status,” said Candace Moore, MS, Parkland’s HIV Prevention Program Manager.
Parkland is the premier health care facility in North Texas for HIV and offers numerous services and research activities to individuals who are living with the HIV virus. In addition to the HIV Prevention Program, Parkland provides five HIV clinics, the TX/OK AIDS Education and Training Center, an HIV Consumer Advisory Board, and an HIV Research Unit operated by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Parkland also makes support services available to family and friends of HIV/AIDS patients. For more information about Parkland’s HIV services, please call 214.590.7055. For more information about HIV outreach events, please call Candace Moore at 214.590.8548.