Tag Archives: clinics

DHEC in the News: HIV/STD testing, flu

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Health officials provide free HIV/STD testing in the Midlands

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) — State health officials continue to work to combat HIV amongst the African American community by providing free HIV/STD testing.

African American’s makeup 28 percent of the state’s population but account for 69 percent of people living with HIV in South Carolina.

To fight the epidemic, health official use National Black HIV AIDS Awareness Day to encourage people living with the disease to continue treatment to keep the virus suppressed.

DHEC makes flu shots more affordable

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) — In response to this year’s serious flu season, the Department of Health and Environmental Control is waiving administrative fees that some pay for a flu shot at its public health clinics.

Many health care providers, community organizations and pharmacies offer low-cost or free flu shots. Additionally, most insurance plans cover at least part of the cost.

But cost will not be a barrier to flu vaccines offered in DHEC clinics.

DHEC: Don’t let cost keep you from getting a flu shot

COLUMBIA — This flu season is serious, and cost should not keep you from getting a flu shot.

Many health care providers, pharmacies and community organizations offer low- or no-cost flu shots. Most insurance plans cover at least part of the cost.

In response to the crisis, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is waiving administrative fees that some pay for a flu shot at its public health clinics. In any case, cost will not be a barrier to flu vaccines offered in DHEC clinics.

DHEC, Harvest Hope give free flu kits to families in need

Columbia, S.C. (WACH) — Harvest Hope Food Bank has partnered with the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to help prevent the flu among the state’s families in need.

DHEC has given away thousands of “Pandemic Flu Preparedness Kits” to Harvest Hope to distribute along with the meals they provide to thousands of families.

More than 100 succumb to flu so far this season in SC

More than 100 South Carolinians have now succumbed to the flu, state health officials say.

A total of 106 Palmetto State residents have died so far this season, 22 of them in the week ending Feb. 3, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.

DHEC offers free HIV, STD testing in recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is Feb. 7, and DHEC will offer free HIV and STD testing at participating DHEC clinics that day.

In the Upstate region, free testing is available Feb. 14.

For more information about HIV testing, as well as local HIV testing sites, call DHEC’s AIDS/STD Hotline at 1-800-322-AIDS (1-800-322-2437), or visit DHEC’s website at scdhec.gov/HIV.

“African-Americans comprise only 28 percent of the state’s total population, but account for 69 percent of all people living with HIV in South Carolina, a grave disproportionate burden or impact,” said Ali Mansaray, director for the division of STD, HIV and Viral Hepatitis.National HIV-AIDS GetInCare

Mansaray points out that many have not yet been tested and don’t know their HIV status. The theme of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is “Stay the Course, the Fight is Not Over!” The goal is for those living with HIV to start, continue or stay in treatment to keep the virus suppressed.”

“The annual observance emphasizes the steps that individuals, families, agencies and communities can take together to make the greatest impact and reduce the stigma of testing,” said Dr. Linda Bell, state epidemiologist and director of the agency’s bureau of Communicable Disease Prevention and Control. “Those steps include learning the facts about HIV, getting tested, becoming involved and helping to link or relink people with HIV to treatment. These are all ways to make a difference and end the epidemic.”

In conjunction with National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, DHEC is also promoting the goal of “Ending the Epidemic[BMLJ1] [MY2] ” in South Carolina. This new initiative seeks to reduce the number of new HIV, STD and Hepatitis C infections, link those living with HIV/AIDS[MY3] to effective care to keep the HIV virus suppressed and re-emphasize prevention.

Throughout the year, DHEC clinics provide HIV testing at a small cost [BMLJ4] depending on the client’s ability to pay. Find a health department clinic at scdhec.gov/Health/PublicHealthClinics and make an appointment. Your life may depend on it!