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DHEC advocates for HIV testing on World AIDS Day 2018

November 29, 2018

With the 30th annual World AIDS Day coming up on Saturday, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control is strongly advocating that South Carolinians get tested for HIV infections.

“Early detection through testing remains essential to successfully identifying and treating the disease, and helping to end the epidemic,” said Ali Mansaray, director of DHEC’s STD, HIV, and Viral Hepatitis Division, in a press release.

According to Mansaray, every county in South Carolina has people living with HIV who are unaware of their condition because they’ve never been tested. Nearly 19,000 people were living in South Carolina with HIV at the end of 2016.

“Early detection through testing remains essential to successfully identifying and treating the disease, and helping to end the epidemic,” said Mansaray.

According to the CDC, around 90 percent of new HIV infections in the U.S. could be prevented by simply diagnosing and treating people with these viruses.

According to DHEC, as many as 6,000 people in the state who have HIV do not receive medical treatment.

Day to Care is a program launched by DHEC that aims to identify individuals living with HIV and link them with treatment options. According to the program, 126 people were living in Aiken County with HIV and were not receiving treatment.

To promote testing, free HIV tests will be administered in the Midlands on Friday. To find a participating clinic or to learn more about World AIDS Day, visit scdhec.gov or call DHEC’s AIDS/STD Hotline at 800-322-2437.

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