Turner Co. Health Dept. opens their doors for HIV awareness

Turner Co. HIV Awareness

TURNER CO., Ga. (WALB) - With HIV Awareness Day approaching, the Turner County Health Department wants you to know where you can go to get tested for free.

June 27 is HIV Awareness Day.

The Turner County Health Department is opening its doors for the whole month of June to spread awareness of HIV to the community. They also encourage people to come and learn the do’s and don’ts for HIV.

Georgia is one of many states across the nation where individuals are living with the HIV virus. Healthcare Communications Director Courtney Sheeley says that 1 in 8 people are walking around with the virus.

“So here in Turner County it is important for people to be aware of HIV because HIV and AIDS are one of those chronicle illnesses that people need to be aware of,” Sheeley said.

The health department encourages people to come and get tested.

The earlier the virus is detected, the easier it is to manage.

WALB spoke with medical officials at the Turner County Health Department about how the community can help spread awareness.

“We tell people to tell their friends and their peers to go get tested. And if it is caught early, HIV can be treatable with medication,” Healthcare County Manager Mary Anne Sturdevan said.

There are a number of ways someone can get tested for HIV. Biolytical is the fastest and most popular testing method among clinics.

With many people taking a new drug called Prep, they may think they are safe from it, however, officials say there is always that small risk.

“It is always a risk. The Prep is there for people who might not know their status. I would encourage people to come into the health department and get tested together,” Sturdevan said.

Test are confidential and can be taken within 10 minutes.

Medical officials also say practicing safe sex, honesty and living a drug-free health lifestyle or a few ways to prevent the virus.

If you any questions about HIV or want to get tested please reach out to your nearest health care clinic or health care provider.

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