Free, low-cost HIV tests to be offered Thursday - FOX Carolina 21

Free, low-cost HIV tests to be offered Thursday

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(File/Associated Press) (File/Associated Press)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Free or low-cost HIV tests will be offered at many county health departments in South Carolina on Thursday.

Since 1988, Dec. 1 has been called World AIDS Day and has been used to bring awareness to the disease.

According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control, more than 14,700 people are known to be living with HIV and AIDS in South Carolina. A new infection happens every nine hours in the state, officials said.

"Every count in the state has residents living with HIV, but many South Carolinians remain unaware of their HIV status because they have not received an HIV test," said Janet Tapp, director of DHEC's STD/HIV division.

Most people in the early stages of HIV infection have no symptoms, according to Tapp.

Other locations across the Upstate are offering tests and passing out information on Thursday.

MAC Cosmetics and Aid Upstate will be passing out information at the MAC counter in Belk Thursday.

Aid Upstate says South Carolina has the 7th highest HIV rate in the country and that one in 10 people in the Upstate who are infected have no idea.

"Every nine and a half minutes, someone is infected with HIV in the country. There are tons of people that are unaware of their status," says Ra'Shawn Barlow Flournoy, of Aid Upstate. 

Aid Upstate will have a number of free rapid testing sites set up during World AIDS Day. One testing site will be at Greenville Tech. For more information, go to www.aidupstate.org.

For more information about World AIDS Day events in South Carolina go to scdhec.gov/stdhiv.

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