GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Kent County Health Department (KCHD) wants to make HIV testing quick, easy, and painless. As we prepare to recognize World AIDS Day on Monday, December 1, we are offering numerous opportunities for testing, along with a gift card for those who are tested. The finger poke test can yield preliminary results in about 20 minutes, during which time our Personal Health Services certified counselors provide advice on protecting yourself and others from HIV.
The Kent County Health Department is offering three opportunities to get tested, without an appointment, free and confidentially. When you get tested at one of these events, you will receive a gift card* for your time, education about HIV and prevention, and steps you can take to protect those you love from HIV. (*Gift cards are only available while supplies last.)
Monday, December 1: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Health Department, 700 Fuller NE, Grand Rapids Wednesday, December 3: 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Kentwood Clinic, 4700 Kalamazoo Ave SE, Kentwood Friday, December 5: 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Sheldon Clinic, 121 Franklin SE, Grand Rapids
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends screening for HIV infection for everyone ages 13 to 64 years at least once in their lifetime. Those who are at increased risk should be screened once a year,” said Adam London, Administrative Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department. “Our dedicated staff provides important information about prevention of HIV and AIDS during screenings.” KCHD Staff are also collaborating with The Red Project to do testing at Grand Rapids Community College on Tuesday, December 2.
HIV, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, attacks the cells that make up the body’s immune system. HIV makes it difficult to fight off colds and other infections. There are medications available today that can strengthen the
immune system. Left untreated, HIV can develop into Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome – AIDS – which can be deadly.
Those unable to visit the walk-in clinic can make an appointment for testing by calling 616.632.7171. More information on HIV and AIDS can be found at: www.cdc.gov/hiv/library/factsheets/index.html.