Flint, MI — Wellness AIDS Services is offering free HIV, Hepatitis C and sexually transmitted infections (STI) testing at an event on June 27, 2023.
The event, “Healthy Me in ’23” is on National HIV Testing Day, and will run from noon to 5 p.m. at Wellness Services’ 311 E. Court St. location.
Aside from free screenings, organizers note there will also be other resource providers, like the National Kidney Foundation, Gift of Life and housing and tobacco reduction specialists, as well as live music and food.
“We are pulling out the grill, so we’ll be doing free hot dogs and chips,” said Anwar Anderson, the community engagement coordinator for Wellness.
Anderson added that the organization will be providing $10 gift card and bus pass incentives for the first 25 people to get tested.
The Genesee County Health Department will also be onsite offering COVID-19 and mpox vaccinations.
Anderson said there is no registration required for the event, and those coming for an HIV test can expect results within 15 to 20 minutes of their onsite rapid screening.
According to the most recent data available from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), there were 31 new diagnoses of people living with HIV in Genesee County in 2021.
Another report from the health department notes that while there was a sharp decline in HIV diagnoses in 2020, that was due to a lack of testing during the pandemic rather than a decrease in transmissions.
“New diagnoses during 2021 appear to be on the low end of the normal range. This is
unfortunate as individuals who would have been diagnosed during 2020 are likely still
living undiagnosed,” the report reads. “Receiving a diagnosis early and getting into HIV care improves the individual’s prognosis and reduces the risk of further transmissions.”