POSTED: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 8:30am
UPDATED: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 8:34am
BATON ROUGE, LA — Mayor Melvin L. “Kip” Holden has proclaimed Thursday, June 27 “Baton Rouge HIV Testing Day,” and is urging local residents to take advantage of the free testing that will be available at designated sites.
“Getting tested to learn your HIV status is an essential step to reducing transmission of new infections, obtaining treatment, and maintaining good health outcomes;” Mayor Holden said.
Free HIV testing will be available on Thursday, June 27, at the following five locations:
• Smith-Brown Student Union, Southern University Campus, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
• Walgreens Store # 9860, 5955 Airline Highway, from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
• Leo S. Butler Community Center, 950 E. Washington Street, from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
• Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, 4000 Gus Young Avenue, from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
• Baton Rouge AIDS Society, 4560 North Boulevard Suite 100, will offer round-the-clock testing.
In addition, Capitol City Family Health Center, 3140 Florida Street, offers free HIV testing on an ongoing basis Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
Mayor Holden noted that HIV is a critical issue for the citizens of Louisiana, the City of Baton Rouge, and the entire Baton Rouge Transitional Grant Area (BRTGA) that includes nine parishes: Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.
As of March 31, a total of 18,947 persons were living with HIV/AIDS in Louisiana, ranking it fourth nationally in AIDS case rates and 11th in the actual number of AIDS cases.
A total of 5,020 persons were living with HIV/AIDS in the BRTGA and 3,713 persons are living with HIV/AIDS in East Baton Rouge Parish. The most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention HIV Surveillance Report shows the Baton Rouge metropolitan statistical area ranked third in the nation in estimated HIV case rates and first in estimated AIDS case rates among the large metropolitan areas in the nation.
Mayor Holden noted that June 27 is also National HIV Testing Day, when the CDC and other national and local entities across the country encourage people of all ages to "Take the Test, Take Control."