Next Story

Chamber to oppose bills that ‘discriminate against any person’

Free HIV testing in metro Atlanta this week for World AIDS Day


Some metro Atlanta counties are offering free HIV testing Thursday to help people learn their status on World AIDS Day.

The region is one of the hardest-hit areas when it comes to new diagnoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only Washington, D.C. and Louisiana had more new HIV diagnoses last year than Georgia.

In 2014, the state Department of Public Health said two-thirds of Georgia residents who are infected with HIV live in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

Darryl Richards, the STD/HIV prevention program coordinator for the DeKalb County Board of Health said it’s important for people to get tested both to help stop the spread of the disease and so that they can receive treatment.

“There are resources available to them,” he said.

In addition to two testing locations on Thursday, DeKalb will be conducting tests on Friday and Saturday.

Fulton County is expanding its normal testing on Thursday to include a mobile clinic outside the Aldredge Health Center, across from Grady Hospital, where testing is available every weekday. On Thursday, the county will also have condom demonstrations, information about Pre-exposure prophylaxis, also known as PrEP, and details about how to get treatment after receiving a positive HIV diagnosis. Counselors will be on site to talk to people about how to reduce their own risk.

“The epidemic has not abated, it’s alive and well,” said Teresa Bell, Fulton’s health program manager over testing and linkage services. “You’d be surprised at the number of people who don’t know their status.”

Fulton’s test is a finger prick, and results only take a minute, Bell said.

In Cobb, the testing is also a way to raise awareness about HIV, public health spokesperson Morgan Scroggs said. Almost one in eight people who are infected do not know it, the county said in a statement.

The rapid tests have results in about 20 minutes, and are done orally — so they don’t draw blood, Scoggs said.

“This is how you know your status,” said Richards, in DeKalb. “It can definitely affect your health.”

WHERE TO GET TESTED

Thursday:

Aldredge Health Center, 99 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, SE in Atlanta. 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. A mobile clinic will be on site from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Marietta Public Health Center, 1650 County Services Parkway in Marietta. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

East DeKalb Public Health Center, 2277 South Stone Mountain Lithonia Road in Lithonia. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Emory University’s Dobbs University Center, 605 Asbury Circle in Atlanta. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday:

Clifton Springs Public Health Center, 3110 Clifton Springs Road in Decatur. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday:

Plaza Fiesta, 4166 Buford Highway in Atlanta. Noon to 4 p.m.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Georgia Politics

Rural Georgia hospitals see few benefits, so far, from tax credits
Rural Georgia hospitals see few benefits, so far, from tax credits

State lawmakers thought they’d found a way to help struggling rural hospitals by offering $180 million in tax credits to Georgians willing to donate to them, but the program has gotten off to a slow start. The state allocated a third of the tax credits for this year and legislators passed a bill increasing incentives to donors, but by mid-September...
Georgia resets rules on voter challenges after a town got it wrong
Georgia resets rules on voter challenges after a town got it wrong

A recent string of problems over how local officials challenged the registration of Georgia voters can be summed up in the curt, one-page letter that arrived mid-July at Jennifer Hill’s home near Savannah. Even though she had lived there for three years, the tiny town of Thunderbolt wanted Hill to prove her residency because her name did...
Lawmakers begin talks about how to replace Georgia’s aging vote system
Lawmakers begin talks about how to replace Georgia’s aging vote system

A handful of lawmakers began the discussion Friday about what it might take to move Georgia to a new election system, an important but incremental step toward replacing the state’s aging voting machines. The meeting of the state House Science and Technology Committee represents a start. Any decision will likely take a few years and, depending...
Graham-Cassidy obscures deadlines for other key actions on health care
Graham-Cassidy obscures deadlines for other key actions on health care

Nearly one hundred and fifty million dollars to keep Georgia hospitals’ indigent care afloat. Funding for the PeachCare program that along with Medicaid covers about half of Georgia’s kids. Clear answers on Obamacare subsidies that Blue Cross said it needed to keep selling individual plans in metro Atlanta. Those are some things that Congress...
Georgia ethics panel to begin auditing candidates in governor’s race
Georgia ethics panel to begin auditing candidates in governor’s race

After years of mainly investigating issues raised by Georgians, the state’s ethics watchdog agency plans to aggressively audit campaign filings from all the major statewide races coming up. Stefan Ritter, the executive secretary of the ethics commission, said that while some details still have to be worked out, the agency will be auditing the...
More Stories