DHEC is offering free testing for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

By  | 

Monday, Feb. 3, 2020

(WRDW/WAGT) -- The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is marking National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day by offering free testing to those who may need it.

The free event is happening at multiple locations across South Carolina on Feb. 7th. It's part of an effort for people to get tested and get treatment.

DHEC also is working to reduce the number of new cases in the state, and increase the number of people taking medicine to reduce the amount of the virus in their blood.

"An average of 66 cases of HIV infection were reported each month during 2017. We want to decrease that number and prevent the spread of this disease by increasing awareness and treatment,” said Ali Mansaray, director for the division of STD, HIV, and Viral Hepatitis. “And there are many people who have not yet been tested and don't know their HIV status.”

DHEC released some stats ahead of the free testing event:

- Of the 20,166 people living with a diagnosis of HIV (including AIDS), 67.8% were African American.
- Among the 1,546 people newly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in S.C., 61.6% were African American.
- Among women recently diagnosed, 66.8% were African American.
- Among men recently diagnosed, 60.2% were African American.

CLICK HERE to find out where to get the free testing.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.