LAS VEGAS – “My Test, My Way.” It’s the optimal way for people to find out their HIV status and it’s the theme for this year’s National HIV Testing Day, June 27. The Southern Nevada Health District encourages everyone to get tested in a way that is convenient and accessible for them. The Health District will provide free Express Testing from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Friday, June 25 at Annex A inside the 280 S. Decatur Blvd. public health center. For information about testing and services, visit the Sexual Health Clinic webpage.
National HIV Testing Day provides an opportunity for patients, health care providers, and partners, among others, to discuss several testing options that are available including in-home tests or rapid tests. In December, the Health District launched its Collect2Protect at-home, free HIV test kit. Clients can order their tests and receive their results in the privacy of their homes. For information or to order a Collect2Protect kit, visit: www.snhd.info/c2p
The Health District’s Linkage to Action mobile unit will also provide free HIV testing to commemorate National HIV Testing Day at two locations on Saturday, June 26:
- Horizon Ridge Wellness Clinic, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m., 1670 E. Flamingo Rd., Las Vegas, 89119
- Nevada Partners, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., 690 W. Lake Mead Blvd., North Las Vegas, 89030
In December 2019, Nevada joined the Fast-Track Cities Initiative and became part of a global effort to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic with the support of local officials. A goal of Fast-Track Cities is to have 90 percent of people living with HIV to know their status. Currently, Clark County is at 79 percent. Local public officials are helping to make HIV testing a routine activity by demonstrating how easy it is to take an at-home test. Southern Nevada District Board of Health members and Las Vegas City Councilmembers Olivia Diaz and Brian Knudsen, and Board of Health Chair North Las Vegas City Council member Scott Black demonstrate the ease of at-home testing to urge their constituents to get tested, to learn about the importance of having an HIV test, and the local free and low-cost testing resources.
“There are still too many people in our community who are unaware of their HIV status. The most important thing about getting tested is knowing your status, discussing your results with your health care provider, and taking steps protect your health and your partner’s,” said Dr. Fermin Leguen, District Health Officer for the Southern Nevada Health District. “We are excited that our board members are eager to help us destigmatize HIV and HIV testing and to demonstrate how easy it is do an at-home testing.”
“One of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of HIV is simply by getting tested,” said North Las Vegas City Councilman Scott Black, who also serves as Chairman of the Southern Nevada Health District Board of Health. “The Health District offers free in-home test kits, which allow people to self-test from the comfort and privacy of their own homes. Those who don’t know their status can unknowingly transmit the virus to others. Know your status by getting tested!”
“June 27th is National HIV Testing Day. It’s important to know your status. For our many communities across Southern Nevada, it’s important we get regularly tested for HIV/AIDS. Our Health District provides excellent access and service on getting tested with various community partners across the Las Vegas Valley. It’s quick, affordable, and easy. Learn more: https://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/community-health-center/sexual-health-clinic/testing-and-services/, “ said Las Vegas City Councilman and District Board of Health member Brian Knudsen.
“Thousands of new infections can be prevented every year if more Nevadans get tested for HIV. It’s safe, easy and important to stand up for our own health. I invite you to find a testing location near you,” said Las Vegas City Councilwoman and District Board of Health Member Olivia Diaz.
Individuals who are HIV positive will have access to Rapid stART, a program that immediately connects them to a medical provider and allows them to begin antiretroviral treatment (ART) the same day or the following day. To participate or to refer a patient to the Rapid stART program, call (702) 234-0429.
People who get tested and learn they are HIV negative can make decisions about their risk factors and health care. Those who are at high risk for HIV infection can discuss pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with their health care providers to reduce their risk of infection. Information about PrEP is available on the Health District website at www.snhd.info/prep or on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
The Southern Nevada Health District’s Sexual Health Clinic is located at 280 S. Decatur Blvd. Services include confidential HIV testing, counseling, case management, and referrals. For additional information, visit the clinic website or call (702) 759-0702.