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Free HIV testing day event at health department Oct. 15

LANSING, Mich. – In conjunction with National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day, the Ingham County Health Department is hosting a community testing event on Thursday, October 15, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at Forest Community Health Center located at 2316 S. Cedar Street in Lansing.

Free, confidential testing is available for all Ingham County residents regardless of ethnicity, but Hispanic/Latinx county residents are especially encouraged to attend and be tested. Due to COVID-19, tests are by appointment only this year. Call (517) 887-4424, option 0, to reserve a time.

“Hispanics and Latinos in the U.S. are disproportionately affected by HIV and are often diagnosed later,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail. “With early diagnosis and treatment, people who are HIV positive can live long, healthy lives.”

Ingham County has the second highest HIV prevalence among local health department jurisdictions in Michigan. Approximately 500 people in Ingham County are living with HIV.

Everyone tested will receive a free gift card while supplies last. They will also attend a personal consult where they can discuss their risk factors and ways to reduce the risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

The test consists of a finger prick and results are given within 20 minutes. Upon arrival to their appointment, clients will need to wear a mask throughout the visit and fill out an intake form using an anonymous name. Paperwork will be available in English and in Spanish.

In honor of Dia de los Muertos, there will be an altar to remember people in our community who are not with us anymore and were living with HIV.