SAN MATEO, Calif. – San Mateo County’s ‘Greater Than AIDS’ community collaborative has teamed up with Walgreens to support National HIV Testing Day by offering free HIV testing at San Mateo’s downtown Walgreen store, June 26-28th.
San Mateo joins more than 140 cities nationwide in holding free testing days that provide results on-site within minutes as a way to make it easy and fast to get tested. Knowing your status is a critical step in the prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS.
Residents can receive free and confidential HIV testing on Thursday and Friday, June 26 and June 27, from 3:00 to 7:00pm and on Saturday, June 28 from 10:00am to 2:00pm at Walgreens on 191 East 3rd Avenue in San Mateo.
San Mateo County Health System recently launched “San Mateo County Greater Than AIDS” campaign to promote HIV testing, raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, and reduce the stigma surrounding these STDs.
“The epidemic in San Mateo County is largely hidden, which makes it challenging to reach and educate those most in need,” said Darryl Lampkin, Prevention Coordinator for San Mateo County Health System’s STD/HIV Program. “We are excited to work with Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS on this effort to motivate more people to get tested.
The latest data reports 1,424 people living with HIV in San Mateo County, and 67 percent of those have AIDS. As is also true on a national level, not all races and ethnicities are equally impacted by HIV in San Mateo County, with African Americans accounting for 17 percent of cases but making up about 3 percent of County residents.
“Since the beginning of the epidemic, Walgreens has served as a trusted resource to help people know their status and manage their condition,” said Glen Pietrandoni, Program Director at Walgreens. “We are proud to collaborate with Greater Than AIDS and community partners to increase access to testing and education, which we know is critical to being a part of the solution to end AIDS.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of the more than 1.1 million people living with HIV in the U.S., an estimated one in six do not know they are infected and only one out of four have their virus under control with treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment saves lives and reduces the spread of HIV; those with HIV who are being treated can reduce the risk of spreading the virus by as much as 96 percent. For ongoing testing locations and resources in San Mateo County, visit: www.smchealth.org/std.