June 27th is a day set aside to highlight the importance of HIV testing. Not only do we want to address HIV testing on this day but also to continue the conversations about breaking down the stigma of HIV and educate the public.
This year on June 27th, Access Health of Louisiana is partnering with KFF and Walgreens to provide Rapid HIV testing at 1801 Saint Charles Ave New Orleans, Louisiana 70130 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This is for their “Greater Than HIV” campaign which is a national campaign that spreads out across the country to 270 cities. (Greater Than HIV, 2023)
No matter your result from the HIV test, Access Health wants to make sure we are connecting people in the community to the healthcare that they deserve. During this event, we will offer same day linkage to care, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) appointments, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), STI appointments, condoms, and sexual health education. If a person tests positive, there will be a Linkage to Care coordinator to walk the client through the steps of getting into care.
HIV continues to affect the New Orleans area and the state of Louisiana at a high rate. According to the Louisiana Department of Health, “In 2020, Louisiana ranked 4th in the nation for HIV case rates”. (2022, p. 5) To get even more specific, region 1, Orleans, St. Bernard, Jefferson, and Plaquemines parishes, had 254 new HIV diagnoses in 2021. Of those diagnosed, 62% were black people and 71% were males. (Louisiana Department of Health STD/HIV/Hepatitis Program, 2021) It is important to note that in 2021, many healthcare organizations that offered HIV testing were not open at full capacity and some were not offering HIV testing at all. So, there was a major barrier for people in the community to get tested during that time.
With HIV rates being so high in the state of Louisiana, it is important that we have conversations about HIV with people in the community. It is especially important among the communities it is affecting the most which are the Latinx and Black communities.
You will see Access Health out in the community more talking about HIV care, PrEP, PEP, barriers to care, Gender Affirming Care, and much more. We strive to improve the health of the people we serve, and we hope that we can do that for you.
So, come out on June 27th to get tested and know your HIV status to stay empowered over your sexual health at 1801 Saint Charles Ave New Orleans, Louisiana 70130 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If you cannot make it out on June 27th for National HIV Testing Day, Access Health offers free walk-in HIV, Hepatitis C, and Syphilis testing to all people. We also have a mail-out service for at-home HIV tests that you can request by calling in or visiting our website. Visit https://accesshealthla.org/locations/ to find an Access Health Location near you. Also, visit https://gettested.cdc.gov/ to find locations in your area for HIV/STI testing.
Greater Than HIV. (2023). National HIV Community Partnership. https://www.greaterthan.org/get-tested-with-greater-than-aids-walgreens/?utm_source= Greater+Than+HIV+Email+Sign-Ups&utm_campaign=c922739d9c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_ 2018_11_15_05_55_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_aef2d244eb-c92273 9d9c-136796628
Louisiana Department of Health. (2022). Louisiana HIV, AIDS, and Early Syphilis Surveillance Quarterly Report. (Vol. 20, No. 1) https://ldh.la.gov/assets/oph/HIVSTD/HIV_Syphilis_Quarterly_Reports/FirstQuarter2022HIVSyphilisReport.pdf
Louisiana Department of Health STD/HIV/Hepatitis Program. (2021). STI/HIV/Hepatitis B & C Update 2021.