(Columbia, SC) – National Black HIV/Aids Awareness Day is February 7, 2023. On this day PALSS is offering walk-in testing between 1pm-7pm at 2638 Two Notch Rd, Columbia, SC 29204. The big 24-hour Test-a-thon will be held from 8:00 AM on Friday, February 10th to 8:00 AM Saturday, February 11th. PALSS, Inc. will offer free HIV/STI testing, PrEP referrals and PrEP assessments in efforts to help reduce HIV among African Americans. National HIV prevention efforts are reducing the burden of HIV infection among some African Americans, but more progress is needed. The HIV, AIDS, STD Data and Reports | SCDHEC reports that in 2020, African Americans are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS in South Carolina. African Americans comprise 27 percent of the state’s total population but 66 percent of the total people living with HIV are African American.
- During the calendar year of 2021, South Carolina ranked 9th among states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. dependent areas with an HIV case rate of 13.2 per 100,000 population.
- Among women (2019-2020) recently diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in the Midlands PHR (public health region), most were African American (62 percent).
- Among men (2019-2020) recently diagnosed in the Midlands PHR (public health region), 71 percent were African American.
- Of reported risks for newly diagnosed cases in 2019-2020: among African American men, most cases were attributed to MSM (men who have sex with men) contact (94 percent), heterosexual risk (3 percent), and IDU (2 percent).
This informative event will include performances throughout the event, refreshments, swag items and free safe-sex kits. Participants will also be entered into a drawing for a select prize.
PALSS will also be offering CONFIDENTIAL Rapid HIV Testing (1 minute) and STI screening on February 7th between the hours of 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm by walk-in only and on February 15th at Benedict College for students between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm.