News Releases

News Releases

DHEC Observes STD Awareness Week and National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day


April 8, 2024

COLUMBIA, S.C. – In recognition of STD Awareness Week and National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is offering free testing for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) at most public health departments on April 11.

DHEC encourages South Carolinians to take advantage of this free testing to know your health status when it comes to STDs. Call 1-855-4-SCDHEC to schedule an appointment or view a listing of DHEC’s local health departments online.  

Observed annually on April 10, National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a time to have serious conversations about HIV among young people and emphasize the importance of collaborating to address this critical issue. DHEC is using the annual observance to encourage HIV testing, prevention and treatment in an effort to help young people stay healthy.  

STD Awareness Week, April 14-20, provides an opportunity to examine how STDs impact our lives and communities and helps to reduce STD-related stigma, fear and discrimination. Through this annual observance, DHEC works to ensure that people have the tools and knowledge to prevent, test for and treat STDs.  

“DHEC’s programs and community partners focus their HIV and STD prevention efforts to reach people most at risk of acquiring these infections,” said Ali Mansaray, DHEC’s director for the Division of STD, HIV, and Viral Hepatitis. “This includes efforts to reach youth and young adults with information and resources to avoid infections.”

In 2022, 82.5% of cases of chlamydia in South Carolina were diagnosed in adolescents and adults under age 30. Of those cases, more than 1 in 4 (27.8%) were diagnosed in youth ages 15 to 19.

Also, in 2022, more than two-thirds (69%) of gonorrhea cases were diagnosed in people between the ages of 15 to 29. Of those diagnosed, almost 1 of every 5 cases (19%) were among youth ages 15 to 19.

DHEC’s programs also work to increase access to treatment and support services for those who are impacted by HIV and other STDs.

While April 11 is an opportunity for free testing, DHEC encourages people who may be at risk of exposure to HIV and other STDs to routinely get tested so they can benefit from readily available prevention and treatment for these infections. DHEC health departments offer this routine testing daily. To make an appointment, call 855-472-3432 or schedule online using Web Chat.

Visit the DHEC website for more information and resources on HIV and STDs. You can also learn more about South Carolina's Ending the Epidemics Plan online.  



Media Relations