TEXAS CITY - Listen up folks, we’ve got some news that can save your life!
June 27 is National HIV Testing Day. So the Galveston County Health District is offering free HIV and syphilis testing to men and women, no matter where they live.
"Anytime it’s connected to something like sex, there’s people going to have a stigma about it, but they need to get over that. They need to get in, they need to get tested and they need to know what their status is so they can get help," says Jim Hilton, Director of the STD/HIV Control Program for Galveston County.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in eight Americans don't know they have HIV and Galveston is no exception.
“We estimate that there are anywhere from 800 to 1500 people in Galveston County who are walking around with HIV and have no idea because they’ve never been tested," says Hilton.
Eric Boykins didn’t know he was infected until he was dying in the hospital. He survived and now, volunteers to help get the word out.
“If I knew what I knew now, I wouldn’t have did it. It was someone I was with who I was living with. That’s how I got it, because you don’t know who has been with who. Men or women, it’s best to go get tested to know your status," explains Boykins.
Brandon Fields wants to know his status so he's here to be tested. “There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s your life, and if you’re having sexual intercourse with anybody, it’s somebody else’s life too. I want to know for myself," he says. Brandon is smart… be like Brandon.
“People out there are spreading it and if they knew they had it, they could take precautions. It’s real important to use condoms. Use them correctly, and use them ALL the time,” urges Hilton.
If you’ve never been tested, what the heck are you waiting for?