By Lindsay Doty
Hendricks County residents can get free HIV testing on June 27 as part of National HIV Testing Day.
The clinic will be held at the Hendricks County Health Department (HCHD) Public Health Nursing Division at 355 S. Washington St. from 8:30 to 11: 30 a.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Residents must be 14 and up. No appointment needed.
This year’s theme, “Doing It My Way,” focuses on the reasons people make testing a regular part of their life and how it can help people stay healthy.
According to the Indiana State Department of Health, there were 419 new cases of HIV in Indiana reported in 2018, and approximately 6,357 people are currently living with HIV.
In Hendricks County, fewer than five people lost their lives to the virus. Health leaders credit the low number partly due to the availability of free testing.
“The most common way HIV is transmitted in Indiana is through sexual contact between an infected partner and a non-infected partner, followed by intravenous drug use (or needle-sharing),” reports Teresa Krupka, infectious disease nurse at HCHD. “Babies born to HIV-positive mothers are also at risk of contracting the virus.”
Dr. David Stopperich, a health officer with HCHD, says getting yourself tested is the key way to prevent transmission of HIV and to protect your own health and the health of your partner.
“Not only is getting tested the most responsible thing to do, but it can also save lives,” he said.