Columbia offers free HIV testing on World AIDS Day
COLUMBIA - The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services will offer free HIV testing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday as part of World AIDS Day.
The testing will take place at the department's clinic, 1005 West Worley St. The first 25 people tested will receive a $25 Visa gift card.
According to a report from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Bureau, Boone County had approximately 221 people living with HIV and AIDS in 2013, which was the highest number of people living with the disease in the north central region of Missouri. The north central region overall has lower numbers of people living with the disease than other parts of the state. The highest number is in the St. Louis area.
As of June 2013, there were 11,584 individuals living with HIV who were diagnosed in Missouri and more than 1.2 million people living with the infection across the country. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 35 million people were living with HIV worldwide at the end of 2013.
The Columbia/Boone County health department said funding for the HIV Prevention Program and for the gift cards comes from the state.
There will be three types of HIV tests offered: oral swab, rapid finger stick or standard blood test.
The department also offers free walk-in testing throughout the year from 9 a.m. to noon on Mondays and from 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursdays. The testing is free of charge and can be done anonymously or in confidence.
You can read more information about HIV services at the Columbia/ Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services here.