Ed Day, Rockland County Executive
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2016
Contact: Scott Salotto (845) 638-5645
Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, DO, MPH, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512
KNOW YOUR HIV STATUS: GET TESTED!
NEW CITY, NY - - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert remind residents that it is very important to know your HIV status. People of all ages can get HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) - the virus that can lead to AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome).
Why is getting tested so important? It's the only way to know for sure whether you are infected with HIV.
"You can have HIV and still feel perfectly healthy. Nearly one in five people with HIV don't know they are infected. They can pass the virus on to others without knowing it, and they also don't get the medical care they need," said Dr. Ruppert.
There are many ways you can get a free HIV test:
- The Health Department's Infectious Disease (ID) Program offers free, rapid HIV tests (results in 20 minutes), Monday – Friday, at various sites throughout the County, including at the ID Clinic at the Robert Yeager Health Center in Pomona. Outreach workers, who speak many different languages, perform the tests. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (845) 364-3661 or (845) 364-2570.
- The Health Department's Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Clinic offers free, rapid HIV tests. For more information call (845) 364-3771.
- The Health Department's Family Planning Clinic offers free HIV testing and counseling for their patients. Clinic fees are based on a sliding scale fee or may be free for most teens and those eligible for free services. Medicaid and Medicare are accepted. For more information about the Family Planning Benefit Program or to make an appointment, call (845) 364-2531.
- In recognition of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on March 10, the Health Department is offering free, private and rapid HIV testing for both female and male students and staff of Dominican College from 10:00 AM–3:00 PM at the college's Granito Center, 2nd floor, located at 495 Western Highway South in Blauvelt.
- The New York State Department of Health has a toll-free AIDS hotline. You can call 1-800-541-AIDS to schedule a free HIV test.
If you find out you are HIV-positive, getting treated early improves your health. It allows your doctor to monitor all aspects of your health and treat you accordingly, prolongs your life, and greatly lowers your chance of spreading HIV to others. If you are pregnant, or planning to get pregnant, knowing your status can help protect your baby from becoming infected.
For more information about the Health Department's HIV/AIDS services, call (845) 364-2570 or visit rocklandgov.com/departments/health/programs-and-services/adults/hiv-aids-services/.
For more information about National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, visit womenshealth.gov/hiv-aids/.