Events encourage screenings for HIV


POSTED: Thursday, June 25, 2009

The state Department of Health is offering free HIV testing on all islands through July 3 in recognition of National HIV Testing Day on Saturday.





        » On Oahu: Diamond Head Health Center, 3627 Kilauea Ave., noon to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesday. Call 733-9281.

» On the Big Island: In Hilo, call Peter Tuiolosega Silva, 974-4247; in Kona, call Janice Caravalho, 322-1920.


» On Maui: Call Barbara Joslin, 984-2129.


» On Kauai: Call Jason Yaris, 821-2741.


» To learn more: Information about HIV testing is also available at the Life Foundation, 521-AIDS (2437) or on its Web site, www.lifefoundation.org.




Nancy Deeley, HIV testing coordinator for the STD/AIDS Prevention Branch, said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone from age 13 to 64 have an HIV test.

About 1 million Americans are living with HIV and one-fourth of them aren't aware they're infected, according to the CDC. It says an estimated 56,000 new infections occur in the United States annually.

The Life Foundation, which is dedicated to stopping the spread of HIV and assisting those living with HIV and AIDS, is organizing events to commemorate the national day of HIV awareness. It offers free and anonymous HIV testing year-around at its offices at 677 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 226, and at remote locations.

Walk-in tests may be done from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday with results available in 20 minutes.

The foundation has started an online petition asking people to pledge to get tested by Saturday. Visit http://www.lifefoundation.org to sign the pledge.

From 7 to 8:30 a.m. tomorrow, volunteers will be waving signs at the corner of Pali Highway and Vineyard Boulevard by Pali Safeway to raise awareness about HIV testing.

Volunteers also will be waving signs and passing out flyers about HIV testing from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Pearlridge Mall. Contact Melanie Moore at Life Foundation for more information: 521-2437, ext. 252.

The foundation will have a table at Ala Moana Center near the stage from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday to pass out information on testing.

The National Association of People with AIDS started National HIV Testing Day to create awareness and encourage testing.

An estimated 2,300 to 3,200 Hawaii residents are living with HIV/AIDS, according to the state Health Department.

Hawaii had 3,071 reported AIDS cases from 1983 to Dec. 31, 2008. Of those, 1,291 people are still living and 1,780 have died, the Health Department says.