Each year June 27th is set aside to promote National HIV Testing Day (NHTD)! The awareness day, first observed in 1995, is a time to focus on the importance of HIV testing and early diagnosis of HIV.
The 2020 NHTD theme is all about the power of “knowing.” Not just knowing your status, but knowing your risk, knowing your prevention options, and knowing your treatment options.
Together with the Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign, the CDC aims to empower communities and healthcare providers to reduce stigma and prevent HIV transmission, especially among the hardest hit populations. Both campaigns also state the importance of staying healthy when living with HIV and to know what services exist in your community to help.
Here’s how Caring Communities can help you stay “in the know”:
Know Your Status: Caring Communities offers free and confidential HIV screening and testing. You can make an appointment at our Hazleton, Bloomsburg, or Wilkes-Barre clinics to get tested. We also offer non-clinical HIV testing on Fridays at our Wilkes-Barre office. Currently, all testing is by appointment only.
Know Your Risk: Our staff can help clients identify what their risks may be and how they can reduce their risks moving forward. Questions about your risk? Give us a call and we’d be happy to address your questions and concerns over the phone or schedule an appointment to speak with you in one of our offices.
Know Your Prevention Options: Our Bloomsburg, Hazleton, and Wilkes-Barre clinics offer Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) services for those at risk of contracting HIV. PrEP is a once-a-day pill that can reduce your risk of contracting HIV by nearly 99%. We also offer free condoms at all our office locations, in a variety of styles and types, including internal condoms, flavored condoms, and dental dams. Appointments are needed for PrEP. Please wear a mask if coming to get condoms. If you call ahead, we can have some bagged up and ready for you to pick up.
Know Your Treatment Options: For those living with HIV, our clinic locations in Bloomsburg, Hazleton, and Wilkes-Barre can perform HIV labs and prescribe HIV medication, all without a long wait time for an appointment. We also offer HIV Case Management services at multiple offices throughout the region. Our case managers help those living with HIV connect to medical care, eliminate barriers to receiving and staying on treatment, provide medical transportation assistance, help with applying for insurance and public benefits, and offer limited financial assistance for medical bills, utilities, and rent. We also have an in-house mental health counselor who meets with clients one-on-one and facilitates support groups.
Anyone wishing to speak with one of our clinic staff or schedule a testing appointment can call 570-829-2700. We have an online appointment scheduling feature coming soon, so please check our website for news on that.