LANSING, Mich. – In honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the Ingham County Health Department is hosting a community HIV testing event on Tuesday, February 7, 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM., at Forest Community Health Center located at 2316 S. Cedar Street in Lansing. Free and confidential HIV testing will be available for all Michigan residents. This event is walk-in, no appointments are necessary.
The simple test consists of a finger prick and results are available within 20 minutes. Participants will also have access to an individual consultation to discuss their risk factors and ways to reduce the risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Everyone tested during the event will receive a Meijer gift card. For additional information, contact the HIV/STI prevention program at (517) 887-4424.
“Data shows that Black individuals have higher proportions of new HIV diagnoses and people living with HIV (PLWH) when compared to other races and ethnicities,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail. “Getting tested is the only way to know your status. With early diagnosis and treatment, individuals who are HIV positive can live longer and healthier lives.”
According to Michigan HIV Prevalence data, approximately 53.9% of newly diagnosed HIV infections in 2021 were among Black individuals. Furthermore, 54.7% of PLWH in Michigan were Black or African American, compared to 34% of PLWH who were white. In 2021, Michigan had a total of 638 new diagnoses of HIV, 23 being among individuals in the Ingham County area. In 2021, there were 475 people known to be living with HIV/AIDS in Ingham County.
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) is a national HIV testing and treatment community mobilization initiative to encourage testing and awareness. NBHAAD was founded in 1999 as a national response to the growing HIV and AIDS epidemic in Black communities.