DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County (PHDMC) is looking to increase HIV testing numbers. The organization hosted a free drive-thru testing clinic at the Charles R. Drew Health Center on Tuesday.
“Public Health wants to emphasize that everyone should get tested for HIV particularly if you’re in frequent relationships with a lot of different partners,” said Dan Suffoletto, public information supervisor for PHDMC.
With healthcare workers focused on the pandemic and other organizations having to close their doors, HIV testing took a back seat. Health leaders are now urging people to maintain health checkups, especially those with high risk.
“It’s a finger prick to draw a little bit of blood, and then it takes about 20 minutes to get the results,” Suffoletto said.
Since the first known cases of HIV/AIDS on June 5, 1981, over 30 million people have died from this disease. Health officials said the best way to limit the spread is by getting tested.
According to Suffoletto, of the new infections in 2019, 40 percent of those came from people who did not know they were HIV positive at the time. PHDMC offers culturally responsive HIV services, including HIV testing, counseling, prep medication, and HIV specialty care by appointment.