The Lee County Health Department encourages the public to visit free test sites or their health care provider during National HIV Testing Day on June 27 to encourage early diagnosis and the potential for a longer life.
Some new tests allow for earlier detection-2.5 weeks from exposure instead of 12 weeks-and new prescription medications allow patients to move in and out of AIDS diagnoses and live healthier lives. Early diagnosis allows human immunodeficiency virus positive individuals to maintain their health and reduce the spread of HIV.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than one million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, and one in five do not know their HIV status.
Everyone is encouraged to get tested, officials said. Free testing sites next week include special locations in Lehigh and Fort Myers plus the regular North Fort Myers location.
The clinics are as follows:
* June 27, 10 a.m.-noon, Lehigh Community Services, 201 Plaza Dr. # 3, Lehigh Acres
* June 27, 9 a.m.- noon., All Souls Church, 14640 N. Cleveland Ave., North Fort Myers
* June 29, 4-7 p.m., Walgreens, 4204 Palm Beach Blvd., Fort Myers
Source: Lee County Health Department