NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Take the test, take control with a simple swab of the mouth and gum. This is the message Tennessee State University and local leaders, including Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and others, will convey for the upcoming National HIV Testing Day.
Tennessee State is partnering with the Metro Public Health Department to provide free HIV screenings on Wednesday, June 25 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Floyd Payne Campus Center, 2nd Floor Corridor at TSU. The event is free and open to the public.
“The most important aspect of this testing is to make our students and community aware of the resources available to them here at the University,” said Walretta H. Chandler, TSU’s Student Health Services nurse. “The convenience of rapid HIV testing technology, provides individuals with the opportunity to take charge of their health and avoid the negative health effects of this virus.”
Chandler adds that this is also the 10-year anniversary of the Rapid Oral HIV test, which is a simple swab of the mouth and gum.
“It is a fast and accurate screening tool with results in approximately 15 minutes. If the test result is positive, additional testing will be needed for confirmation.”
This will be the first time TSU will partner with Metro PHD and various agencies across the city to offer the free testing. Nearly 10 agencies will participate in the screening and health fair including Nashville Cares, Street Works, Centerstone, Project Hope, and the Matthew Walker Health Center. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, and other community leaders will attend the event.
According to Kim Douglas, program director for HIV/STD Prevention with Metro Public Health Department, the first step in fighting the devastating disease is a strong education program.
“Our focus is to show people how easy it is to get tested,” Douglas said. “Testing and counseling enables people with HIV to take steps to protect their own health and that of their partners. It also helps the people who test negative to get the information they need to stay uninfected. There is no reason why anyone should not know their status or infect another person.”
The HIV screening event will also feature a health fair that individuals may visit while waiting on results. These organizations will offer material on prevention, risk-reduction material, and general health and wellness.
National HIV Testing Day was established in 1995 by the National Association of People with AIDS as a means to promote HIV testing, and is an annual campaign to encourage people of all ages to get tested.
For more information contact Walretta H. Chandler at 615.963.5294
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