Free HIV testing in Kent County for National HIV Testing Day

KENT COUNTY, MICH. - More than one million people in the United States are living with HIV according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention -- so, in honor of National HIV Testing Day, local health clinics are offering free testing next week. 

The Kent County Health Department (KCHD) will be offering free testing the week of June 26 at all four of its clinics -- National HIV Testing Day is Tuesday, June 27.

KCHD says the finger poke test can determine results in about 20 minutes and during that time, certified personal health counselors will provide educational advice on how to protect yourself and others from HIV.

It's recommended by health experts that every one know their HIV status -- it's essential to getting helpful therapy soon and protecting others from the virus. The CDC estimates that there are 50,000 new HIV infections in the U.S. every year. One out of every eight people who are infected don't know that they are. 

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) attacks that cells that make up the body's immune system -- making it difficult for an infected person to fight off colds and other disease. There are many medications available that strengthen the immune system and prolong life expectancy, however, if left untreated HIV can develop into Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) -- which can be fatal.

Kent County Health Department HIV Testing Week Locations:

Monday, June 26
Sheldon Clinic located at 121 Franklin SE, Ste 130 in Grand Rapids
1 - 4 p.m. 

Tuesday, June 27
Fuller Clinic located at 700 Fuller Ave NE in Grand Rapids
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Wednesday, June 28
North County Clinic located at 4388 14 Mile Rd. NE in Rockford
1 - 4 p.m.

Thursday, June 29
South Clinic located at 4700 Kalamazoo Ave SE in Kentwood
1 - 4 p.m.

Friday, June 30
Fuller Clinic located at 700 Fuller Ave NE in Grand Rapids
8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

If you're unable to visit any of the testing events next week, you can also make an appointment by calling 616-632-7171. 

For more information about HIV and AIDS, visit www.cdc.gov/hiv.

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April Stevens is a multi-platform producer at WZZM 13. Have a news tip? Email news@wzzm13.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.

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