“Take the Test, Take Control” on National HIV Testing Day
Resources available for free, confidential HIV testing in Illinois
Springfield – June 27, 2015, is National HIV Testing Day, and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is encouraging everyone to utilize resources available statewide to get tested. To that end, IDPH is hosting two events to raise awareness about HIV and the importance of knowing your HIV status:
• On June 26, 2015, IDPH will provide HIV Awareness information at the Illinois State Capitol Building located at 2nd and Capitol Streets in Springfield.
• On June 27, 2015, IDPH will host an HIV testing and awareness event in Dreamland Park, 2300 Taylor Ave., Springfield, IL, featuring confidential HIV testing and other health screenings from 10:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Both of these events are free and open to the public.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 7 people living with HIV are unaware of their infection. As of December 31, 2014, more than 37,000 people were living with HIV in Illinois and on average, 1,800 people are diagnosed with HIV in Illinois each year. CDC reports that more than half of youth between the ages of 13-24 living with HIV don’t know they are infected, leading to a late diagnosis after the HIV infection has already reached Stage 3, AIDS.
The populations in Illinois with the highest number of new infections include gay and bisexual men of all races and ethnicities, “high risk” heterosexuals, and injection drug users. African Americans in Illinois are disproportionately affected by HIV. African Americans represent about 14 percent of the population in Illinois yet accounted for half of all new HIV infections.
IDPH is committed to providing access to resources to reduce these disparities. To find the closest free, confidential HIV testing location:
• Call the department’s HIV/AIDS and STD Hotline at 1-800-AID-AIDS FREE FREE (1-800-243-2437 FREE), or
• Use IDPH’s TEXT 2 SURVIVE app (download at www.basuah.illinois.gov) and text IL plus ZIP code to 36363.
o This service is also available in Spanish by texting “CENTRO” plus ZIP code to 36363.
For a full list of events and testing locations statewide:
• Visit idph.riproad.com, or
• Use IDPH’s Text2Survive mobile calendar by texting “event” to 36363.
National HIV Testing Day was created by the National Association of People with AIDS, and has been observed every June 27th since 1995 to raise awareness about HIV prevention and education.
To learn more about IDPH’s resources and HIV/AIDS initiatives, visit http://www.idph.state.il.us/aids/default.htm.