National HIV Testing Day is Thursday, June 27. Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group and Prisma Health–Midlands join the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in encouraging everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 to be tested for HIV at least once.
Here are six things to know about HIV, who is at greatest risk, and the importance of testing and treatment:
- HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, attacks the body’s immune system and makes a person vulnerable to infection. There is no cure for HIV. But a person who has HIV and properly manages the disease can live as long and as healthily as a person without HIV.
- HIV diagnoses have risen in South Carolina in recent years, according to the CDC. More than 1 million people in the United States have HIV, though the number of new diagnoses is declining nationally.
- Statistically, African American gay and bisexual men are at the greatest risk of contracting HIV, both in South Carolina and in the United States.
- An estimated 162,500 Americans are living with HIV but do not know it, according to the CDC. That puts them at risk for transmitting the disease to others.
- Routine HIV testing can lead to early diagnosis and therapy, which can improve long-term health outcomes.
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis can greatly reduce a person’s chance of contracting HIV when it is taken properly.
Palmetto Health-USC Immunology Center, located at 1 Richland Medical Park Dr., Suite 420, offers comprehensive services in the diagnosis, treatment and management of HIV. Services offered include HIV testing as well as pre-exposure prophylaxis, also known as PrEP. For patients who are diagnosed with HIV, our specialists formulate individually tailored management plans.
The Immunology Center is the lead agency for the Midlands Care Consortium for the care of HIV/AIDS patients through a federally funded Ryan White Title II grant.
For more information about PrEP, testing or management of HIV, or to schedule an appointment, contact the Palmetto Health-USC Immunology Center at 803-545-5350.
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