World AIDS Day
December 02, 2021
November 30, 2021
Doh-manatee recognizes world aids day with quilt panels; offers No-Cost Testing, treatment options
Christopher Tittel, Communication Director
Bradenton, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Manatee County (DOH-Manatee) unites with people and communities worldwide on December 1st to observe World AIDS Day by showing support for people living with HIV and honoring those we have lost.
With this in mind, DOH-Manatee has mounted along the main hallway in its main building quilt panels in memory of several members of our Manatee community who have been lost to HIV/AIDS. The quilt panels will be on display into December.
On Dec. 1, HIV prevention staff will offer no-cost confidential testing for HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea and hepatitis C from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the mobile unit parked near the front door of the building and share condoms (both male and female), lubrication and literature set on a table near the testing area.
DOH-Manatee’s main building is located at 410 Sixth Avenue in Bradenton.
Anyone can also schedule an appointment for no-cost confidential HIV/STD testing weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. by calling (941) 741-3747.
This year’s World AIDS Day theme is: “Ending the HIV Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice.”
“HIV and AIDS can come to anyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or race,” said DOH-Manatee Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Bencie. “Knowing your status is the first step to determining the kinds of support you might need to prevent from getting HIV or, if you already have HIV, to help ensure the best care you might need to live a long and healthy life. Your local health department offers its services to everyone at no cost.”
It is crucial that people diagnosed with HIV begin treatment as soon as possible. Immediate treatment with antiretroviral therapy (ART) typically leads to long, healthy lives for people with HIV. It’s also a method of HIV prevention. ART reduces the amount of HIV in the body, which makes it harder to transmit to others.
There are more tools available than ever to prevent HIV. A health care provider can help you determine appropriate next steps, which might include taking PrEP, regular testing and using condoms to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV.
To schedule an appointment for a no-cost HIV test or to learn more about prevention and treatment options, call (941) 741-3747.
About the Florida Department of Health
The Department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.