News Releases

News Releases

DHEC, Walgreens Offer Free HIV and STD Testing at Several Locations in Recognition of National HIV Testing Day

June 24, 2022

COLUMBIA, S.C. ― National HIV Testing Day is June 27, 2022, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is encouraging South Carolinians to get tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) so they can know their status, protect their health and help prevent diseases from spreading to others.

The theme of this year’s National HIV Testing Day is “HIV Testing is Self-Care,” which is meant to focus on the importance of getting tested for HIV and other STDs as part of routine preventive care. Early detection of HIV and other STDs is key to successful treatment and is critical for preventing new infections.

“Most people in the early stages of HIV infection have no symptoms, which makes routine testing a pivotal step in our fight against the spread of these diseases,” said Ali Mansaray, Director of DHEC’s STD/HIV and Viral Hepatitis Division. “Early diagnosis can help link people to services that will allow them to stay healthy longer, benefit most from treatment, reduce costly hospital visits and help prevent transmission to others.” 

As of Dec. 31, 2020, there are more than 19,000 South Carolina residents living with a diagnosed HIV infection. Between 2019 and 2020, 1,495 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in South Carolina, and of those newly diagnosed, 60 percent were African American, 22 percent were white and 6 percent were Hispanic.  

Much like new HIV infections, African Americans are disproportionately impacted when it comes to the total number of people living with HIV in South Carolina. As of Dec. 31, 2020, among persons living with HIV in South Carolina, 47 percent were African American men, 22 percent were African American women, 21 percent were white men and 5 percent were white women. Six percent of people living with HIV were Hispanic/Latino men and women. Men also are at higher risk.

To help make HIV and STD testing easy and convenient, free HIV and STD testing is being offered at several DHEC health departments as well as partnering Walgreens locations:

If you are over the age of 17 and prefer the privacy of in-home testing, you can order a free test kit test at

For more information about STDs and locations that provide screenings, call DHEC’s STD/HIV Hotline at 1-800-322-2437, or visit DHEC’s website at



HIV & STDs Media Relations