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Lourdes Emergency Department Offers Free HIV Counseling and Testing June 27

More than 1.2 million people in the United States are living with a  Human Immunodeficiency Virus  (HIV) infection, and almost 1 in 8 are unaware of their infection, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Overall, an American has a 1 in 99 chance of being diagnosed with HIV at some point in his or her life. New Jersey is disproportionately affected, with a 1 in 84 chance of HIV diagnosis.

Unfortunately, even with advances in prevention and treatment,  HIV infection rates have increased each year. To raise prevention and treatment efforts, as well as to reduce the stigma associated with infection, Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center has partnered  with the New Jersey Department of Health to provide HIV counseling and testing to people age 13 and older.

In recognition of  National HIV Testing Day on Tuesday, June 27, an HIV counselor will be available for 24 hours, starting at midnight, in the Emergency Department at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, 1600 Haddon Avenue in Camden. Services are free and no appointment is necessary.

The CDC recommends that people ages 13 and older get tested at least once and that those high-risk get tested more often. Testing takes about 30 minutes and results are provided the same day. Referrals for additional services are provided as needed.

Lourdes regularly offers free HIV counseling and testing every day from  11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., including weekends, with no appointment necessary. Testing hours on June 27 are extended for 24 hours in honor of National HIV Testing Day.

For questions or more information about HIV testing at Lourdes, contact Kira Berstecher at  856-668-8232, or at berstecherk@lourdesnet.org.  Additional information about HIV infection can also be found on the CDC’s website at  http://www.cdc.gov/features/hivtesting/.

 

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