Free health screenings next week in Polk County | Events
Bartow, Florida -- In recognition of National HIV/AIDS Counseling and Testing Day, the Polk County Health Department and Walgreen's have announced a free health fair on June 27.
The event will be held at the Walgreen's located at 311 E. Memorial Blvd in Lakeland between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The Polk County Health Department says it encourages everyone to know their status, and stresses the importance of HIV testing to prevent transmission of this disease.
Routine testing is encouraged for all sexually active individuals ages 13 to 64.
"Education and consistent condom use are the most important tools in preventing the spread of HIV", said Woody Wilbanks, Jr., HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator for Polk, Hardee and Highlands Counties.
"Because HIV can be prevented but not cured, being proactive in getting tested, having your partner get tested, and always using condoms is the key to reducing the incidence of new HIV infections."
HIV is transmitted through unprotected sex, the sharing of needles, and being born to or breastfeed by an infected mother.
Other methods of transmission include blood transfusions, being stuck with a contaminated needle, tattooing, and body piercing.
Each year, approximately 48,100 new HIV infections occur in the U.S.
There are about 135,000 people in Florida who are living with HIV.
One in five individuals who are infected have not been tested, and do not know their status.