HIV testing, counseling free to public Thursday
by Lindsay Field
June 23, 2013 09:52 PM | 2468 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Four local and national organizations are coming together Thursday to help provide free HIV testing and counseling to residents in support of National HIV Testing Day.

Cobb & Douglas Public Health is working with the Cobb Community Service Board, National Coalition of 100 Black Women Northwest Georgia Chapter and Makeup & Motivation to offer these services.

Testing will be conducted at two locations: the Cobb & Douglas Public Health Center in Marietta, 1650 County Services Parkway, from 1 to 4 p.m., and the Marietta Flea Market, 550 Franklin Road SE, from 3 to 7 p.m.

“HIV/AIDS is a major public health concern in the United States,” said Cheryl C. Cole, National Coalition of 100 Black Women chapter president. “Its prevention, especially among African-American women, is a priority of the (organization).”

Her Northwest Georgia Chapter has sponsored a number of activities in recent years to bring awareness to the issue, and Cole said they are excited to join forces with Cobb & Douglas Public Health and the Cobb Community Services Board to provide these services to the local community.

“Activities such as these provide residents with critical information and resources to fight this epidemic,” said Joy Wells, Cobb & Douglas Public Health’s director of epidemiology.

All testing results are confidential and are available in 20 minutes.

According to data from Cobb & Douglas Public Health spokesperson Valerie Crow, there were 274 people in Cobb and Douglas counties that had HIV in 2009.

“This rate is lower than in Georgia – 410,” she said. “In 2011, the Georgia Department of Public Health reported that there were 109 new HIV infections and a total of 2,579 persons living with HIV infection in (Cobb and Douglas counties).”

Georgia Department of Community Health reports also show that Georgia is ranked sixth in the nation for cumulative HIV/AIDS cases in 2009, with 65 percent of those cases living in metro Atlanta.

Crow also briefly explained the difference between AIDS and HIV.

“AIDS is the most advanced stage of the HIV disease,” she said. “It occurs when the individual’s immune system is weakened by HIV to a point where the individual develops one or more of about 25 ‘opportunistic infections (OI).’ For example a specific type of pneumonia is an OI.”

For more information, call (770) 514-2815 or (770) 514-2432.

EVENT INFORMATION:

What: National HIV Testing Day

When: Thursday, June 27

Where: Cobb & Douglas Public Health Center, 1650 County Services Parkway, Marietta, 1 to 4 p.m.; & Marietta Flea Market, 550 Franklin Road SE, Marietta, 3 to 7 p.m.

Cost: Free, results in 20 minutes and confidential

Contact: (770) 514-2815 or (770) 514-2432

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