AIDS Alliance of Northwest Georgia in Cartersville makes getting tested easy. Today the alliance offers free HIV/AIDS testing until 7 p.m.
“We use a product called oral quick to test. We swab the mouth and put it in a solution and it takes around 20 minutes to get your results,” said Annie Carter, Director of HIV testing and prevention services.
Georgia ranked 8th highest in the nation in 2008 for its reported rate of AIDS cases, according to the Georgia Department of Community Data Summary.
“There’s no cure, but now HIV is not a death sentence anymore, but it’s definitely a change of life sentence,” said Carter.
The CDC recommends getting tested at least once a year, and “it should be a routine thing,” said Carter.
Free testing is available at the AIDS Alliance of Northwest Georgia on 775 North Avenue, Suite E in Cartersville from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and at St. Luke A.M.E. Church from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on 130 Jones Street in Cartersville.
Guest Speakers will share their experiences with living with HIV around 6 p.m. at St. Luke A.M.E Church.
“There is such a stigma for people living with HIV,” said Carter, “ It’s not airborne and people need to know that.”
Carter warns those already infected with HIV are still accessible to re-infection, but with a different strain of HIV.
“Most HIV is spread because people don’t know they have it,” said Carter, “The earlier you get diagnose the better off you are.”
Check out the Wednesday, June 29 edition of the Calhoun Times for the complete story.