December 1, is World AIDS Day and the Florida Department of Health in Marion County will recognize the day by providing residents with the opportunity to receive free rapid HIV testing.
Where and when
- Frank Deluca YMCA (3200 SE 17th Street, Ocala) from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Department Registered Nurse Anne Gerard is helping lead the fight against HIV in Ocala.
“HIV happens here, and what you don’t know can hurt you and others. Sometimes people don’t think they are at risk, but engaging in unprotected sex of any kind, having multiple partners, or having a sexually transmitted infection increases the risk of getting HIV,” Gerard said. “Abstinence is the best prevention, but correct, consistent condom use can prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.”
The department encourages everyone who is sexually active to get tested. Florida has a comprehensive program for preventing the transmission of HIV and for providing care and treatment to those already infected. The state aims to reduce the incidence of HIV so more Floridians will live longer, healthier lives.
“It’s crucial to know your status so you can get on appropriate medicine if needed,” said Florida Department of Health in Marion County Health Officer Mark Lander. “Getting the right prescriptions early on (and staying on them) can help prevent the disease from progressing.”
For more information on opportunities to be tested for HIV/AIDS, contact the Department of Health in Marion County at 352-629-0137.