DHEC Offers Free HIV and STD Testing in Recognition of National HIV Testing Day
FOR IMMEDIATE REVIEW:
Sept. 21, 2023
COLUMBIA, S.C. — From Sept. 25-29, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) will observe its Fourth Annual PrEP Awareness Week. This statewide observance aims to increase awareness among providers and the community regarding pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a pill or injectable medicine that can help significantly decrease HIV infection if someone is exposed to the virus.
In partnership with the South Carolina AIDS Education & Training Center (AETC), DHEC will offer providers the opportunity to earn up to five free continuing education units (Continuing Medical Education, Continuing Nursing Education, Pharmacy and Social Work) via a Lunch & Learn webinar series. The webinars will be held Sept. 25-29 from noon to 1 p.m.
This year's topics include:
- Opportunities for Prevention at the Intersection of HIV and Mpox Diseases
- Integrating PrEP Services into Primary Care
- PrEP: It's Not Just for Men
- Injectable HIV PrEP
- PrEP and Sexual Health
To register, visit scdhec.gov/PrEPweek.
“PrEP is a critical medication, and we’re hopeful that our annual PrEP Awareness Week initiatives help increase awareness among providers and the community about how PrEP can help people live longer, healthier lives,” said Ali Mansaray, director of DHEC's STD, HIV, and Viral Hepatitis Division. “We invite medical providers, pharmacists, nurses, social workers, health educators and community advocates to participate in our series of webinars to learn more about the benefits of PrEP and overall HIV prevention and sexual health.”
DHEC is also collaborating with several local community-based organizations to provide free and confidential HIV testing, PrEP counseling and resources and PrEP gear on college campuses.
For more information about additional free testing sites, college testing locations and free virtual webinars, visit scdhec.gov/PrEPweek.
As part of PrEP Awareness Week, free and confidential sexually transmitted disease and HIV testing will be offered Sept. 28, at most local health departments. Appointments can be scheduled by calling DHEC’s Care Line at 1-855-4-SCDHEC (1-855-472-3432). Counseling is also available. To find a testing location nearest you, visit scdhec.gov/PrEP.
In addition, HIV and STD testing are also offered at most DHEC public health clinics across the state throughout the year. To find a clinic near you, visit the DHEC Public Health Clinics webpage.