DETROIT(WWJ) – To shed light on National HIV Testing Day, The Detroit Health Department held a wellness day and offered free testing all day Wednesday.
WWJ Newsradio 950’s Pat Sweeting said it was a busy day Wednesday at the Wayne State University’s Physician Groups Infectious Disease Clinic.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 20 percent of the 1.2 million U.S. citizens living with HIV do not know they have it. Advances in technology now allow people to see their results about fifteen minutes after taking the test.
Clinical director and social worker Bryan McClatchey said the virus is most often found in women of color. However, McClatchey said it’s important for anyone who has had unprotected sex to get tested once every six months.
“Whether it’s more than one partner or one partner, anybody who’s had unprotected sex in the last five years should be tested,” he said.
Because many people are uncomfortable talking about getting tested with their partner, McClatchey said, they often choose not to.
“It’s a taboo subject, but if you don’t talk about what everybody is doing then you don’t know what your risks are,” he said. “Sometimes we don’t always know what our sex partners are doing.”
McClatchey said Michigan provides better medical coverage for patients than nearly any other state in the country, including treatment by an HIV specialist and any medication they need.