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HIV Alliance and Roseburg VA Healthcare System team up for National HIV Testing Day

(MGN Online image)

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- HIV Alliance and the Roseburg VA Healthcare System are partnering in putting action to this year’s National HIV Testing Day on Tuesday, June 27, to offer a testing event in Roseburg.

“National HIV Testing Day is an important and necessary reminder for everyone – know your status” said Renee Yandel, HIV Alliance Executive Director. “Testing is the most effective way to reduce infections, and helps to ensure that newly diagnosed people get into care and take steps to be safer. Testing is the first step to getting treatment, and treatment saves lives and prevents new infections.”

HIV Alliance will be hosting special testing events and distributing easy use at-home tests to help increase the number of people who know their status.

Last year, Douglas County saw HIV infections drop for the third consecutive year to three new infections, the Alliance said. There were four in 2015 and five in 2014.

HIV Alliance says it provided a total of 152 HIV tests last year.

Neighboring Lane County saw 21 new HIV infections in 2016, after having 14 in 2015, and nine in 2014.

HIV Alliance is encouraging everyone to do their part in reducing the risk of HIV in our community by knowing your status.

Tyler Boyet, HIV Alliance Prevention Manager, says “HIV testing is important. If people have HIV they need to know about it, because treatment will save their life, and the lives of their loved ones. HIV testing services can be harder for people to access in rural areas. That is why our partnership with the VA this year really helps us to reach people who we may not have reached before.”

The official theme for this year’s National HIV Testing Day is “Test Your Way. Do it Today.”

Every year, roughly 1.2 million people die of HIV globally, 13,000 of which are in the United States, the Alliance says. According to current CDC reports, 1 in 8 of the 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States do not know they are infected. Moreover, they say individuals who pass infections unknowingly are responsible for the vast majority of new infections – well over 95 percent.

HIV Alliance will provide HIV Testing at 913 NW Garden Valley Blvd, Roseburg from 12-1 p.m. on June 27. They will also feature a presentation from Geoff L'Heureux, PharmD, AAHIVP on HIV, PrEP and PEP alongside one of HIV Alliance’s HIV Positive speakers from its POZ Speakers youth education program.

Media contacts can schedule an interview with Tyler , Renee, or Amanda McCluskey (Programs Director) by contacting their Grants/Communications Coordinator, William Bourget, via email: wbourget@hivalliance.org.

HIV Alliance provides care coordination and advocacy services for people living with HIV/AIDS in 11 Oregon counties.

"HIV Alliance is an international model for effective and efficient HIV prevention, advocacy, care and education," the organization says. "The mission of HIV Alliance is to support individuals living with HIV/AIDS and prevent new infections."

You can find more at their Facebook page and Twitter.

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