Agency offers HIV/AIDS testing

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 24, 2003

According to an educator with Selma AIDS Information and Referral, Inc. (SelmAIR), 70 percent of the residents of Dallas County who are

HIV-positive don’t know it and have never taken an HIV screening test.

To make matters worse, Dallas County has the highest number of HIV/AIDS cases in an eight-county area SelmAIR oversees.

Webster wants to put a stop to it.

In conjunction with this Friday’s National HIV Testing Day, SelmAIR is offering free HIV testing this week for anyone within Public Health Area 7 &045;&045; an Alabama Department of Public Health designation that includes Dallas, Hale, Choctaw, Lowndes, Marengo, Perry, Sumter and Wilcox counties.

Webster hopes to see about 30 people a day show up for HIV testing, she says. The test, itself, takes about five minutes, but time isn’t the problem, Webster says &045;&045; a lack of knowledge is.

Before you get to the point where you need to be tested, though, Webster advises taking precautions.

Once a person has contracted AIDS, though &045;&045; which is caused by the HIV virus &045;&045;

a downhill spiral develops, often leading to death, Webster says.

Testing takes place this week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

SelmAIR is located at 1432 Broad St. For more information, call 872-6795.