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Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 20, 2018
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                 Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512

GET TESTED FOR HIV: TAKE THE TEST, TAKE CONTROL!

Get free tests for HIV on Friday, June 29

NEW CITY, NY - - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert announced today that in observance of National HIV Testing Day, the Health Department is offering free, confidential, and rapid HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) tests on Friday, June 29th at the Quisqueya Sports Club, located at 25 Broadway in Haverstraw. Health Department staff, who speak English, Spanish, and Creole, will perform the tests from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. No appointments are needed. For more information call the Health Department at (845) 364-2570.

"We encourage County residents to take this opportunity to get tested. An HIV test is the only way to find out if you have HIV. Testing is simple, easy, free, private, and quick, with results in 20 minutes," said Dr. Ruppert.

Why is getting tested so important? Nearly 1 in 5 people with HIV don't know they are infected. This means that they don't get the medical care they need, and that they can pass the virus on to others without knowing it. If you find out you are HIV-positive, you can start taking medicine for your HIV.

HIV infection can lead to AIDS, however not everyone who has HIV progresses to AIDS. Getting treated early for HIV improves your health, 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.

Besides free HIV testing, there will be free blood pressure screening, free testing for pre-diabetes, and free testing for Hepatitis C, a serious liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis C virus. People with Hepatitis C often have no symptoms, can live with an infection for decades without feeling sick, and can be successfully treated with medications. The only way to know if you have Hepatitis C is to get tested. Getting tested can help you learn if you are infected and get you lifesaving care and treatment that can get rid of the virus from your body and prevent liver damage, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer.

For more information call the Health Department at (845) 364-2570. To download flyers about the free HIV testing on June 29 in English and Spanish, visit https://bit.ly/2M6XGE2 and https://bit.ly/2MEdH5h. For more information about Hepatitis C, visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/knowmorehepatitis.

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