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Free HIV and Hepatitis C Testing Clinic on March 8

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Person with blue gloves holding someone's hand about to give them a finger prick

Representatives from Siouxland Community Health will be providing free, confidential HIV and Hepatitis C testing at Lakes Regional Healthcare’s Community Health Center at 1003 21st Street in Milford on Tuesday, March 8 between 3:30 and 6:00 pm. The blood test involves one finger poke and the HIV test results will be provided within 1-2 minutes. The Hepatitis C test results will be provided in about 25 minutes. Educational materials will be provided, and each person that gets tested will also receive a $5 Walmart gift card while supplies last.

Most people who have contracted either HIV or Hepatitis C have no symptoms at first. In fact, approximately 13% of people living with HIV in the United States do not know it. Early detection and treatment are crucial to improving health outcomes and preventing the spread of infection so it is important to test. Fortunately, there are medications available to live a normal, healthy life. Everyone aged 13-64 should be tested at least once, and those in high-risk categories are encouraged to test at least annually. Those at highest risk for contracting the diseases are those who have:

  • Taken IV drugs
  • Engaged in sex work
  • Been raped
  • Had tattoos or piercings at places not certified or practicing hygiene standards
  • Are male and have had sex with another male

No appointment is necessary to receive these tests. Anyone can get tested for HIV. It is important to note, however, that it takes three months for a positive HIV test to show up after an encounter that may increase a person’s risk of contracting HIV. Those interested in getting tested for Hepatitis C must meet at least one of the qualifications below:

  • History of IV drug use
  • Received piercings or tattoos at unlicensed places
  • Have never been previously tested for Hepatitis C
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