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Health Department: Free STD tests available on Saturday

Posted at 12:13 PM, Nov 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-27 13:13:52-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Douglas County "has had higher rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea than the national average for more than 15 years." To help people pursue treatment and prevent the spread of STDs, the Health Department will be offering free take-home STD kits as well as on-site testing this Saturday.

The Douglas County Health Department's release:

Sunday, December 1 is World AIDS Day, a day dedicated to education and testing related to the disease. Established 30 years ago, this year’s theme is “Communities make the difference.” Communities play an essential role in HIV/AIDS response at multiple levels (international, national and local). Leadership and advocacy are crucial in the HIV/AIDS response and without these communities (such as gay men and other men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, sex workers, women and young people, community health workers, people living with HIV or grass-roots activists) this work would not continue.

Douglas County Health Department will be open on Saturday, November 30 and will have free HIV Testing available from 8:30 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. If you are unable to visit our clinic on Saturday, contact our outreach office for a free ‘take-home’ HIV test kit. Our outreach office number is (402) 444-7750.

Douglas County Health Department will be closed on Sunday, December 1, but our friends at Nebraska AIDS Project (NAP) will be providing free HIV testing at First Central Congregational Church (421 South 36th Street) from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. followed by a service of remembrance and commemoration for those who have lost the battle. That service is open to the public.

While significant strides have been made in the diagnosis and treatment of HIV infection, there still is no cure or vaccine, and transmission of HIV continues in our community. Through November 1, the Douglas County Health Department has received confirmation of 32 new HIV infections in 2019.

According to CDC, as many as one in seven people do not know they are infected with HIV. CDC and DCHD recommend that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested for HIV at least once. People who are sexually active and not in a monogamous relationship, men who have sex with men, pregnant women and anyone who is seeking STD testing and treatment should consider annual HIV screening.

Testing is only one piece of the prevention puzzle for HIV. Testing coupled with pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and condom usage has been proven to reduce the risk of HIV infection from sex by more than 90 percent. If you are a sexually active person and have an interest in learning more about PrEP, contact our Prevention Program for more details at (402) 444-7750.