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OC Health Care Agency: “HIV Testing is Self-care;” National HIV Testing Day is Monday, June 27

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people between 13 and 64 years of age get tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS at least once as part of routine health care. For those at high risk of HIV, men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender individuals, and persons who inject drugs, the CDC recommends testing at least once per year as part of routine health care. June 27 marks National HIV Testing Day (NHTD), which promotes testing and early diagnosis of HIV. This year’s NHTD theme is HIV Testing is Self-care. HIV testing is an act of self-care, and knowledge of status is the gateway to engaging in prevention or treatment services that enable individuals, regardless of their status, to live a long and healthy life.

At the end of 2021, there were 6,772 people living with HIV in Orange County. The CDC estimates that an additional 950 Orange County residents have HIV and don’t know it – some of whom will develop AIDS before knowing they have HIV. Over 20% (54) of the 274 Orange County residents newly diagnosed with AIDS in 2021, learned they had HIV at the same time, indicating they were living with HIV for many years before getting ill. Many of these people had been to a health care setting like an emergency room, a community health center, or their doctor, but were not tested for HIV. A simple HIV test and treatment can prevent HIV from progressing to AIDS.

If you have never been tested for HIV, ask your health care provider for an HIV test. For those who test negative and are at high risk for HIV, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), a medication to prevent HIV is available. In addition to health care providers throughout Orange County, the following agencies offer free confidential HIV testing and free or low-cost PrEP services:

  • APAIT Health Center: Testing is offered Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call (714) 636-1349 or visit www.apaitonline.org/ for more information. Testing hours will be extended from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and walk-ins are encouraged on Monday, June 27 in celebration of NHTD. In addition, APAIT will be participating in The Greater Than AIDS campaign (www.greaterthan.org) offering free HIV testing in partnership with Walgreens located at 12001 Euclid St., Garden Grove, CA 92840 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on NHTD.
  • OC Health Care Agency/17th Street Testing & Treatment Clinic: Walk-ins accepted based on availability. Clinic hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call (714) 834-8787 to make an appointment or visit http://www.ochealthinfo.com/std for more information.
  • Radiant Health Centers: Walk-Ins accepted. Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call (949) 809-8764 or visit www.radianthealthcenters.org/ for more information.
  • The LGBT Center Orange County: Testing is offered Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. To make an appointment or for more information call (714) 953-5428 or visit www.lgbtcenteroc.org/. A special gift will be offered to those who test on Friday, June 24 in celebration of NHTD.

For more testing sites and information about HIV services in Orange County, please call (714) 834-8335 or visit www.ochealthinfo.com/phs/about/dcepi/hiv/sites.

This article was released by the Orange County Health Care Agency.