National HIV Testing Day, June 27, is right around the corner and getting properly tested is more important than ever. Palmetto Community Care, a nonprofit organization that aims to help HIV care, prevention, and awareness, is having "Do it My Way" themed events to get more people in Charleston tested.
Palmetto Community Care, formerly Lowcountry AIDS Services, is a nonprofit organization that has assisted those living with HIV for more than 25 years. With nearly 1,000 people taking advantage of their free tests, they’ve worked to expand prevention, staff, and hours to reach as many people as possible.
Among the nearly 1,000 tested so far this year, 10 have tested positive for HIV. In 2018, 1,700 people were tested and 23 were reported as new HIV-positive cases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1.1 million people in the U.S. have HIV and one in seven of them are unaware.
"The only way to know your HIV status is to get tested and continue to get tested regularly. If it has been more than six months since your last test, it is time to get tested again. We are here to help you know your status and to get the help, services, prevention tools and care that you need for your sexual health," said Adam Weaver, prevention program manager in a press release.
Palmetto Community Care (3547 Meeting Street Road) also offers free, confidential testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. No appointment is required and you can get tested between 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays and until 6 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Here's where to get your free HIV test starting Sat. June 22:
• Saturday, June 22: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Be Yaself Day in Park Circle, Felix C. Davis Community Center, 4800 Park Circle in North Charleston
• Thursday, June 27: 8 p.m. to midnight at Dudley's Adult Queer Prom, 42 Ann St. in downtown Charleston
• Thursday, June 27: 3-7 p.m. Walgreens, 1861 Remount Road in North Charleston
• Saturday, July 6: noon to 5 p.m. at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, 7396 Rivers Ave. in North Charleston