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National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness

By Kent Donahue

February 10, 2021

Contact:
Kent Donahue
Kent.Donahue@flhealth.gov

ORLANDO, FL – This past Sunday was National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. It is a day to raise awareness and prevent the transmission of the HIV virus. In 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Black/African American people accounted for 13% of the US population but 42% (16,002) of the 37,968 new HIV diagnoses in the United States and dependent areas. The CDC’s 2018 HIV Surveillance Report, indicates the Orlando Metropolitan Area (Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford) ranked number five in the country for new HIV case rates.

With social distancing, we might be physically apart, but we all have a role to play in ending HIV. That’s why the 2021 National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day theme is “We’re in This Together.” The theme highlights the importance of social support—from friends, family, colleagues, and partners—when addressing HIV in the black community.

Even during the current COVID-19 pandemic, knowing one’s HIV status is important because nearly 40% of new infections are transmitted by people who don’t know they have the virus. That is why the Florida Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange) is now offering free at-home HIV testing kits to Central Florida.  At-home test can further our efforts to fight the spread of HIV within the region.

Residents of Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Brevard counties can request a kit by visiting the Talk Test Treat Central Florida website at https://talktestcfl.com/. The self-administered kit will be mailed to individuals at no cost and comes with step-by-step instructions, the oral testing swab, and test tube. The test is confidential and follow up by DOH-Orange’s Area 7 HIV staff is optional.

To learn more about the At-Home HIV Test Kit program, call 407-858-1400 or email  Dlchd48area7@flhealth.gov.

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.

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