Do you know that one out of five individuals with HIV is not aware that they are infected?
I have had the privilege to volunteer with the HIV/AIDS/Resource Center (HARC) at Siena Heights University. HARC is a private non-profit organization dedicated to providing HIV related services to the community through compassionate direct care, prevention, and outreach activities.
On Monday, Nov. 26, HARC staff offered free anonymous HIV testing from 5 to 9 p.m. at Siena Heights in Adrian at Dominican Hall. The testing was open to all members of the Lenawee County community. This was the first time in Lenawee County in about 10 years to get tested free of charge and anonymously, without a physician's order. Lenawee County Health Department, located at 1040 S. Winter St., suite 2328, offers condoms for a donation.
Here are some facts that are eye opening to me and may be to others in the community. The numbers are daunting—19,500 Michigan residents are currently living with HIV. Over 12,000 of these individuals live in Southeast Michigan. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone between the age of 13 and 64 be tested for HIV. Youths as young age as 13 years of age can be tested without parent or guardian consent. HIV can affect any individual no matter your age, ethnicity/race, and sexual orientation.
For more information, visit www.hivaidsresource.org or www.cdc.gov.
We are hoping to have another testing for citizens in the community in the near future. Get tested, it may save your life.
– Scott A. Marvin
Diversity Outreach Coordinator (Lenawee RICC), Adrian