INDIANAPOLIS — In recognition of National HIV Testing Day on Monday, June 27, Indianapolis groups are offering free and confidential HIV testing.
The Marion County Public Health Department will be at two Walgreens locations from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Hoosiers can get an HIV test, receive information and get their questions answered about prevention and treatment options.
The Walgreens locations are:
- 1530 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, 46202
- 3734 E. 38th Street, Indianapolis, 46218
Other testing organizations will also offer free testing.
The Damien Center, Indiana's oldest and largest AIDS service organization, is also providing free testing at its building located at 26 Arsenal Avenue. Testing will be done from 9-11 a.m. and 2-4:30 p.m.
Damien Center staff will also be at Walgreens, located at 902 E. Hanna Avenue, from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
HIV testing is done through a quick finger prick blood sample and test results are available within 20 minutes.
The Damien Center says it saw a 40% decline in testing in 2020 compared to 2019. As of 2021, 13,900 people were living with HIV/AIDS in Indiana.
The CDC reports new HIV diagnoses dropped 17% in 2020, but researchers say the data should be interpreted with caution due to the impact of the pandemic.
RESOURCE | Get tested at the Damien Center
The Damien Center recently received a $5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.
Alan Witchey, President & CEO of the Damien Center, says the money will be used for strategic initiatives within the organization. It is designed to be an endowment that is invested to generate ongoing revenue for the Center's future.
"It's sort of like a golden egg for a nonprofit because most of us live every day how are we going to pay the bills, how are we going to pay for things and the idea of having long-term stability is not a common thing," Witchey said. "These kind of grants just help anchor the organizations and causes to the community for the very long term so we can continue supporting the people that come in our doors every day."