HIV Testing Day

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Keith Blocker is Gadsden County's HIV/AIDS coordinator. He spends countless hours educating the public about HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, and so far teens are getting the message loud and clear.

Jeremiah Hernandez, a 14-year-old student, says, "It scares me to know that all this stuff is going on and the cause of it can be dangerous, that people do it, and now I know the effects of all of this stuff."

Blocker says the highest number of HIV cases occur in those people between the ages of 20 to 55, a number that can dwindle if more early diagnosis is done.

Keith Blocker, Gadsden County Health Educator, says, "Last year the state of Florida did well over 300,000 tests, and the campaign this year is to get more people tested, and the more you know, if you know your status, you have less opportunity to pass it on to someone else and put them at risk for HIV infection."

Health officials say there are a variety of testing methods from oral to home kits that can be used to help folks learn their HIV status.

You can get free testing at several agencies in the Big Bend area, including your county Health Department.