Columbus, Ga- Each year, June 27 is recognized as National HIV Testing Day, and while the job of one local HIV/AIDS organization is to encourage testing throughout the year, today’s turnout exceeded expectations.The Debra Smith Wellness Center offered free testing all day at the Wynnton Road Walgreens.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Georgia ranked fifth among the 50 states for new HIV diagnoses in 2015. And 1 in 7 people in the U.S. is unaware that they’re even infected, which is why on National HIV Testing Day folks are encouraged to learn their status. And if the turnout at Wednesday’s local testing event is any indication, two long-term survivors say the message is being heard loud and clear.
“I’ve been telling the people that have been coming out that I’m a 25-year survivor and I have really wanted to see this one day, and it finally happened, “says Juanita Hubbard.
If they find out then it’s real,” added Jeremy Hobbs. “And I think that’s the biggest thing for a lot of people out there. But today, people have come out in droves wanting to get tested. They want to know their status.”
Hobbs tells News 3 that HIV testing is quicker and more accurate than ever with a new insta-test that can provide results within a minute.
Hobbs also encourages HIV testing during annual physicals.