The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognized June 27 as the annual National HIV Testing Day twenty years ago to increase awareness about HIV and AIDS and to ensure that people get tested, know their status, and make good choices. It’s particularly important to know your status, considering 15% of people with HIV/AIDS in the United States don’t know they have it.
Over 100,000 people live with HIV/AIDS in Florida, with nearly half of them in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Both of those counties rank at the top of the list when it comes to new HIV and AIDS cases.
You probably already know to get tested on a regular basis, but with the number of HIV infections still at an alarming rate in Florida, it cannot be said or suggested enough. Below is a summary of what six organizations are going to be doing to commemorate National HIV Testing Day.
Care Resource will be providing free HIV testing at various locations starting June 23, and they will also be giving out free gifts to people who get tested. A number of locations will be open for testing on June 27, such as Care Resource’s Miami office, located at 3510 Biscayne Boulevard. Other locations open for testing include Walgreens on NW 37th Avenue in Miami Gardens, on SW 1st Street in Miami, and N. Federal Highway in Pompano Beach; Little Havana’s Viernes Culturales Futurama Building in Miami; and Care Resource Broward in Fort Lauderdale. The Walgreens locations aforementioned will also be testing on June 28.
Broward House will be celebrating National HIV Testing Day one day early, on Friday, June 26. They ask that you join them at the client services center, located at 2800 N. Andrews Ave. in Wilton Manors, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for free gifts, HIV testing, food and beverages, and even live music by DJ Pat! Go to Broward House, partake in the party that they are throwing for the community, and most importantly, know your status!
FoundCare, formerly the Comprehensive AIDS Program of Palm Beach County, will be commemorating National HIV Testing Day with a special day of testing on Saturday, June 27 from 8 a.m. to noon at the main FoundCare offices, located at 2330 S. Congress Avenue in West Palm Beach. The tests are free and you will receive a free gift upon the test’s completion. FoundCare will also be sponsoring free HIV tests on Friday, June 26 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Congress Avenue offices in West Palm Beach; from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at FoundCare’s offices in Belle Glade; from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Walgreens on Ocean Avenue in Lantana; and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Urban League on Australian Avenue in West Palm Beach.
Hope and Help Center / The Center Orlando / Miracle of Love
The Orlando-area HIV/AIDS service organizations are all getting together to recognize National HIV Testing Day with three days of testing, starting on Thursday, June 25 and ending on Saturday, June 27. On Thursday, there will be free HIV testing from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at three Walgreens locations in Central Florida: 408 E. Michigan St. in Orlando, 2501 S. French Ave. in Sanford, and 1111 W. Vine St. in Kissimmee. On Friday, there will be free HIV testing at Community Food and Outreach Center (150 W. Michigan St., Orlando) and at Walgreens on 2814 W. Kennedy Blvd. and 5185 North Ln. in Orlando, also from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Saturday, there will be testing at Walgreens on the corner of Colonial and Bumby in Orlando from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and also at Pleasant View Baptist Church (1202 Central Ave., Apopka) from noon to 4 p.m.
Metro Wellness and Community Centers
Metro Wellness will be out and about during Pride Weekend. To give National HIV Testing Day the appropriate attention it deserves, they will be recognizing it a day early, on Friday, June 26. Metro Wellness will be testing from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Walgreens on the corner of Central Avenue and 34th Street in St. Petersburg. In the evening, Metro Wellness will be testing in St. Petersburg and in Tampa: they will be at the 27/82 Concert from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., on the corner of Central Avenue and 26th Street in St. Petersburg, and also at the corner of 7th Avenue and 15th Street in Ybor City, Tampa, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
For more information on National HIV Testing Day, visit the National HIV Testing Day page sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services at aids.gov/news-and-events/awareness-days/hiv-testing-day.