Southeastern Health center provides HIV test

Hammond- Each year thousands of people across the U.S. are diagnosed with HIV and AIDS.
As of Sept 2010 a total of nearly 30 thousand cases have been reported in Louisiana, with over 1200 new case were reported in 2009 alone.
The Southeastern Louisiana Health Clinic will take part in worlds AIDS awareness day by holding free and confidential screens for the disease.
A 2008 report by the Center for Disease Control listed Louisiana as the 4th highest in nation for reported AIDS cases.
Baton Rouge and New Orleans were ranked 2nd and 3rd among the largest number of reported cases in the U.S. metropolitan areas.
“Students need to take care in their sexual partners”, said Michelle Reed, director of the student health center, “College students are among the most at risk.”
Most at risk in Louisiana were sexually active women and African Americans between 18-25 years old.
Studies have shown that simply wearing a condom can dramatically reduce the chances of contracting HIV and many other STDs. “The university health center offers free condoms, so students can practice safe sex”, said Reed.
The university health center will be offering testing for HIV for the first time on Dec. 1 to coincide with world HIV awareness day, but the center plans to continue to offer testing at least once a quarter.
“Nothing guarantees 100% safety, but being aware of your partner’s history and taking caution, students can drastically decrease their chances of contracting an STD”, said Reed.
Free testing for HIV will be offered Dec.1 at the University health center the test is a quick cotton swab or minor blood extraction and is completely confidential. Students can have accurate results in as little as fifteen minutes.

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