Research shows that in 2007, HIV was the 9th leading cause of death for African Americans, and the 3rd leading cause of death for both, black men and women, aged 35 to 44. "We are working with many partners in the community to get the word out that African Americans can be tested at the Frederick County Health Department for free, every week. We are working with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, which is a National black women's group. They're helping us to sponsor some testing in the downtown area. We also have some churches on board with us, to take testing out to communities that are high at risk," said Deborah Anne, HIV Program Supervisor, FCHD. "Many of those who are infected with HIV are unaware of their status because they have never had an HIV test. This results in many people who have the disease unknowingly transmitting the virus to others, and this is how the epidemic continues to grow. It is important to remember that early diagnosis and early treatment are the key to living well with HIV, but left undiagnosed and untreated, HIV still leads to AIDS and death."
In Frederick, free testing will be available at the Frederick County Health Department, by appointment, on Monday, February 6th. You can call 301-600-3342 to arrange your appointment. "It's also available on a walk-in basis on Friday, February 10th, from 9-10:30 am and again from 1:30-3 pm." Tuesday, February 7, 2012, is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.