Human Services Offering Free HIV Testing on World AIDS Day
The Department of Human Services (DHS) will offer free HIV testing from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 1 at the DHS Administration Building, 3432 Virginia Beach Blvd., in recognition of World AIDS Day.
Testing will be available to individuals between the ages of 13 and 64 years old. The free rapid tests will be administered in a private screening area and results will be known in about one minute. No appointment is necessary to be tested. Should an individual's test indicate the presence of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, Human Services will immediately link that person to appropriate treatment and community support resources.
"I encourage anyone who is unsure of their status to consider taking advantage of this opportunity," said DHS Director Aileen L. Smith. "Having this information, whatever the outcome, will enable individuals to take control of their health and make informed decisions about how they move forward."
World AIDS Day was recognized in 1988 as the first-ever global health day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It has since been observed each year on Dec. 1. Since the first case of AIDS was reported in the United States in 1981, more than 700,000 people have died in the U.S. from HIV-related illness. The medical community's growing understanding of HIV over the past 40 years has led to advances in medical science that can improve long-term outcomes of individuals in many cases. However, early detection and treatment remain essential to preventing serious illness and/or death and reducing transmission of the virus.
Free HIV testing is available at no cost to Virginia Beach residents through DHS Wellness and Prevention Services at any time throughout the year. Screenings are available by appointment between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday at 258 N. Witchduck Road, Suite 2D. Please call Robert Hewitt at 757-385-0811 to schedule an appointment.
Funding for this event is provided by the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant and the Early Intervention Services Grant through the Virginia Department of Healt