AIDS Dallas County

Dallas County is offering free HIV testing on Thursday at multiple sites in honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a national HIV testing and treatment mobilization effort targeting the black community, which accounts for 44 percent of all new cases of HIV in the U.S.

According to the latest Dallas County statistics, for 2011, almost 13,500 people were living with HIV in the county, and 5,482 of those were African-American.

“Knowing your HIV status is a great benefit to individuals and to our community as a whole,” county Health and Human Services Director Zachary Thompson said. “Having this knowledge allows people to make better decisions about their health in the future. Residents have multiple opportunities to get tested for free.”

Testing locations are:

• Dallas County Health and Human Services building, 3rd floor, 2377 N. Stemmons Freeway. 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

• Valley View Mall Community Room, 13331 Preston Road. Noon– 7 p.m.

• El Centro College, 801 Main Street. 9 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, as part of the 13th annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Abounding Prosperity will announce plans for implementation of its new Pre-exposure prophylaxis and post exposure prophylaxis programs.

Abounding Prosperity was funded last year to provide training and education to its clients, providers and all persons who are at high risk for HIV acquisition about new biomedical research that is reducing the rates of HIV infection. PrEP and PEP are prevention strategies involving antiretroviral therapy that may help reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV-1 infection.

“It is very exciting to have received this funding to provide cutting edge training to hundreds of persons in Dallas that may not know about such biomedical research advances,” said Abounding Prosperity CEO Kirk Myers.