PHOENIX — As part of National HIV Testing Day on Friday, several pharmacies and clinics are offering free tests to the public.
In 2012, more than 480 people in Arizona discovered they were HIV positive. Kit Kloeckl, executive director of the Aunt Rita Foundation, said getting tested goes a long way in slowing the spread of the disease.
“We know that if we could get every Arizonan tested and every Arizonan that is HIV-positive into care, the chances of those people transmitting the disease onto someone else drop by 96 percent,” said Kloeckl.
Too few people get tested for HIV, according to Kloeckl, who encourages people between the ages of 15 and 65 to get tested at least once in their life. He said those who are sexually active with multiple partners should get tested more often.
“Everyone should get tested,” he said. “We’re estimating here in Arizona that 40 percent of Arizonans have never had an HIV test.”
In an effort to reduce the number of untested people, several local organizations are offering free tests on the national awareness day, such as the Southwest Center for HIV and AIDS (1144 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix) and Prime Medical Clinic (3104 E. Indian School Road, Suite 110, Phoenix).
Four Walgreens pharmacies will also be providing tests on Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Below is a list of locations that will provide free tests.
• 3402 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
• 1825 W. Bethany Home Road, Phoenix
• 7606 S. Seventh St., Phoenix
• 25073 W. Southern Ave., Buckeye