In honor of World AIDS Day, Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) will host a free HIV testing & counseling event at the Marietta Public Health Center and Douglas Public Health Center from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Nov. 30. The Marietta Center is located at 1650 County Services Parkway, and the Douglas Center is located at 6770 Selman Drive.
The Georgia Department of Public Health’s (DPH) 2014 HIV Disease Surveillance Summary indicated Georgia is ranked 5th in the nation for number of persons living with HIV, and two-thirds (66%) live in the Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) with Cobb and Douglas counties contributing to these high rates.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 36.7 million persons are living with HIV/AIDS globally. Each year, more than 1 million people die from AIDS-related causes and 2.1 million people become newly infected by HIV. Two-thirds of new HIV infections worldwide occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
The CDC HIV At A Glance report indicated 39,513 people were diagnosed with HIV infection in the United States in 2015. More than 1 million people are living with HIV, and about 1 in 7 don’t know it.
“Most people don’t tend to think about global or even national rates of infection,” said Director of Epidemiology at Cobb & Douglas Public Health, Rachel Franklin. “But even as more and more people are diagnosed with HIV, more are surviving because of earlier detection and medications like PrEP – that’s why getting tested and understanding your risk of getting HIV is so important.”
Viral suppression, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure (PEP) drugs – when taken regularly – help to reduce the risk of transmission, and ensure that those affected by HIV live longer, healthier lives.
Cobb & Douglas Public Health’s testing, counseling and outreach efforts include the help of knowledgeable, compassionate counselors that can guide residents through next step options or discuss risk-reduction techniques. Testing during the World AIDS Day events is free and open to everyone. There are no needles involved and results are confidential and ready within 20 minutes.
For more information about the free HIV testing event, call 770-514-2815.
About Cobb & Douglas Public Health
Cobb & Douglas Public Health, along with the Georgia Department of Public Health, has been committed to the mission of “Healthier Lives. Healthier Community.” since 1920. We are dedicated to improving our residents’ quality of life by tracking and preventing the spread of disease, promoting health and safety, providing exceptional medical services, and ensuring that our community is prepared for public health emergencies. For more information, visit www.cobbanddouglaspublichealth.org.