National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Expanded Hours for Free HIV Testing and Free Hepatitis C and Syphilis Testing Also Available

To mark National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, AIDS Project Rhode Island is expanding its testing hours for HIV, Hepatitis C and Syphilis on Tuesday, February 7.

Free, fast anonymous testing will start at 12 noon on that day and continue until 7 p.m. at 9 Pleasant Street, Providence, Rhode Island, 02906. Testing will be on a walk-in basis; no appointment is necessary.

The Rhode Island Department of Health reports that between 2010 and 2014 in the state African Americans accounted for 21% of newly identified HIV cases, although African Americans are only 7% of the state’s population.

The federal Centers for Disease Control reports that if current rates continue, about one in 20 black men, one in 48 black women, and one in two black gay and bisexual men will be diagnosed with HIV.

These are devastating statistics, said Stephen Hourahan, AIDS Project Rhode Island’s executive director, that hopefully will motivate more people, whatever race or ethnicity, to be tested.

Testing is also available for other concerns. «While the focus of the day is HIV testing, we also wanted to offer the opportunity to be tested for Hepatitis C as well as Syphilis, which is a new service we offer,» he said. No blood is drawn for HIV testing, he noted.

At the testing site, information will be available about treatment to reduce the risk of HIV infection, Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP). PrEP is an HIV prevention approach where HIV-negative individuals use anti-HIV medications to reduce their risk of becoming infected if they are exposed to the virus. PEP is an HIV prevention strategy where HIV-negative individuals take HIV medications after coming into contact with HIV to reduce their risk of becoming infected.

More information about testing on Tuesday, February 7, and other days, is available at www.aidsprojectri.org or by calling AIDS Project RI at 401-831-5522.

About AIDS Project RI
AIDS Project Rhode Island (APRI) was founded approximately 30 years ago as a non-profit organization dedicated to providing compassionate, non-judgmental and collaborative response to the needs of people infected, affected and at-risk of HIV/AIDS.

Over the years, APRI accomplished this mission through leadership in prevention, education, supportive services and advocacy.

In 2008, APRI expanded its array of services by merging with another AIDS Service Organization (ASO), Family Service of Rhode Island. The unification of two major ASOs created a broader system of care accessible through one entry point.
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Today, APRI, as a division of Family Service of Rhode Island, continues its tradition of excellence while energetically developing new programs and approaches to meet today’s challenges.

APRI’s website is www.aidsprojectri.org