Tag Archives: STD

FREE HIV Testing Tomorrow for National HIV Testing Day

Participating local DHEC health departments will administer FREE HIV testing tomorrow, June 27, 2019 in recognition of National HIV Testing Day (NHTD).  No appointment necessary, but encouraged.  First observed in 1995, NHTD was created to increase awareness about HIV and encourage people to get tested.  This year’s theme is “Doing It My Way.”

HIV is a virus spread through certain body fluids that attack the body’s immune system, often called T cells.  Over time, HIV can destroy these cells so much that the body cannot fight off infections and disease and therefore creates a week immune system, making it susceptible to various diseases and cancers.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV, including approximately 166,000 people who are unaware of their status.  In the United States, HIV is mainly spread by having anal or vaginal sex with someone who is already infected without using a condom or sharing needles, syringes, rinse water, or other equipment used to prepare drugs for injection with someone who is infected.  Although it is not as common, HIV can be spread from mother to child during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding or by being stuck with an HIV-contaminated needle.

HIV Stats_SC Health Assessment

According to the 2018 South Carolina Health Assessment:

  • The number of new HIV cases decreased 32.3% from 1,170 cases in 1998 to 792 cases in 2016.
  • African-Americans made up 28% of the population in South Carolina, yet were comprised 68% of people newly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.
  • People ages 20-29 years old had higher rates than other age groups.
  • People ages 50-59 years old comprised 31% of the people living with HIV/AIDS.
  • In 2011, 34.7% of adults had been tested for HIV, compared to 37.1% of adults in 2016.
  • Just over 46% of Hispanic/Latinos in South Carolina were tested for HIV.

HIV Testing_SC Health Assessment

By ensuring that everyone who has HIV is aware of their infection and is receiving treatment, new HIV infections in South Carolina can be dramatically reduced.  Visit your local public health clinic and get tested.  (Tell a friend, too!)

DHEC encourages STD testing during National STD Awareness Month

April is National STD Awareness Month and DHEC is encouraging South Carolinians to get STD screenings.

Free testing at public health clinics

To assist in these prevention efforts, DHEC’s public health clinics will be offering free testing on April 18. Appointments are encouraged. Please call 1-855-4-SCDHEC (472-3432) to schedule your appointment. The department urges those at risk for any STD to talk with their healthcare professional about getting tested or request testing at one of the public health clinics.

This year’s theme for National STD Awareness Month is “Treat Me Right.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the theme presents an opportunity for providers to ensure they have the needed tools to properly detect and treat infections. It also encourages patients to learn about STDs and prevention while empowering them to ask their provider what they can do and how they can work together to stay safe and healthy.

Testing helps prevent spread of disease

Studies show that people who have STDs such as gonorrhea, herpes, and syphilis are more likely to get HIV compared to people who are STD-free. The same behaviors that increase the risk of acquiring these STDs also increase the risk for getting HIV. When left untreated, STDs can have severe health consequences to the person with the STD and to babies born to an infected mother. STD and HIV testing is a critical step in preventing the spread of disease.

According to 2016 data, there were just over 29,000 cases of chlamydia, nearly 9,400 cases of gonorrhea, and over 300 cases of primary and secondary syphilis in South Carolina.

For more information about STDs and sites that provide screenings, call DHEC’s STD/HIV Hotline at 1-800-322-AIDS (2437), or visit DHEC’s website at www.scdhec.gov/stdhiv.

DHEC in the News: National STD Awareness Month, opioids

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

DHEC encourages HIV testing during National STD Awareness Month

COLUMBIA — April is National STD Awareness Month and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is encouraging South Carolinians to get STD screenings.

To assist in these prevention efforts, DHEC’s public health clinics will be offering free testing on Wednesday, April 18. The department urges those at risk for any STD to talk with their healthcare professional about getting tested or request testing at one of the public health clinics.

General Interest

As the opioid epidemic rages on, S.C. schools must decide how to teach students about drugs

Given the growing problem of opioid addictions and overdose deaths in South Carolina, the state’s Department of Education has new expectations of health educators.

For example, children in kindergarten should know the difference between drugs of abuse and medicine.

DHEC in the News: National STD Awareness Month, rabies vaccination clinics, opioids

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

DHEC to provide free STD testing for Awareness Month

(WIS) – In honor of April being National STD Awareness Month, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will be offering free STD testing on April 18.

The tests will be conducted at DHEC’s public health clinics. Appointments are encouraged.

Rabies vaccination clinics set for April

Veterinarians across South Carolina are joining forces with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control this spring to help owners protect themselves, families, communities, and pets against rabies.

Florence Rotarians hear all about the war on drugs

FLORENCE, S.C. – The national opioid problem is a crisis that involves heroin and an epidemic that involves prescription pain medicine.

But the biggest enemy in an epic war on drugs is fentanyl.

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.