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Cerro Gordo health department offers free HIV testing

MASON CITY – To celebrate National HIV Testing Day CG Public Health is offering free and confidential HIV testing from 9am-4pm on Monday, June 28th. HIV testing is completed by a simple finger poke with results available in 60 seconds. As an added bonus everyone tested that day will receive a $10 gift card to Hy-Vee! Testing is available by appointment only and appointments are limited, call 641-421-9300 to schedule your appointment.

“HIV is spread when an HIV-infected person’s body fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal secretions, or breast milk enter another person’s bloodstream,” said Sam Severson, RN disease prevention specialist at CG Public Health. “The most common way people are infected with HIV is by having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex or sharing needles.”

It is estimated that there are 462 Iowans with HIV who have yet to be diagnosed. The expansion of HIV testing coupled with pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) programs and condom distribution services may help in reaching other undiagnosed people living in Iowa and continue to slow transmission of HIV in the state.

“In order to prevent the spread of HIV, testing and protection are the keys. Alongside our free testing, we also offer free condoms,” states Severson. “HIV is a public health threat, and it is one that needs to be taken very seriously. This disease can completely change your life with just one sexual encounter.”

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