LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Texas Health and Human Services officials recommend that everyone be screened for the HIV virus at least once in their lives as part of their routine health care, and they are working to make that an easily-affordable possibility with the help of Walgreens and the organization Greater Than AIDS.
Walgreens at 511 East Marshall Avenue will have Wellness Point medical staff in the store on Thursday, June 27, from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. to offer the free testing.
More than 4,000 Texas residents were diagnosed with HIV in 2017, and public health experts estimate that 18,000 Texans currently have HIV and don’t know it.
“One in seven people who have HIV don’t know it. Early detection is imperative to helping people live longer, healthier lives and is key to decreasing transmissions,” said Dr. Courtney N. Phillips, HHS executive commissioner. “As part of our mission to improve the health, safety and well-being of Texans, we are encouraging people to know their status and talk with a physician about their HIV risk.”
DSHS is partnering with Greater Than AIDS and Walgreens to encourage people to help stop the HIV epidemic by getting tested on National HIV Testing Day. Walgreens is offering free testing at 43 stores in 14 cities around Texas from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on June 27. There is also a list of providers that perform free or reduced-cost testing in more than 40 Texas cities at http://www.dshs.texas.gov/hivstd/testing. Or ask your health care provider for an HIV test during your next visit.
As part of the national effort to increase awareness and testing, people can locate free and low-cost HIV testing sites through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://go.usa.gov/xmm6E.