Millions of people have lost the battle against HIV/AIDS. And 30 years after the first reported case, the fight against the epidemic still continues. Today, on World AIDS Day 2011, the goal is “Getting to Zero.”
Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths.
Though there have been medical advances, communities, especially those in Riverside County, are still battling the spread of disease.
To help increase awareness, the Riverside County Department of Public Health is reminding residents of the importance to get tested for HIV/AIDS.
“Several thousands are unaware that they are even infected,” said county health spokesman Jose Arballo Jr. “It’s an extremely critical problem.”
Free HIV testing in Riverside County
HIV Antibody Testing
(Call for updated testing hours/appointments)
HIV Antibody Testing Locations
Perris Family Care Center
308 E. San Jacinto Ave., Perris, CA 92570
Testing Times: 9-11:30 a.m.; 1-3 p.m. Wednesdays
Street Outreach and Mobile Testing
by Riverside County HIV/AIDS Program
Call for times and locations: 800-243 7275
Indio Family Care Center
47-923 Oasis St., Indio, CA 92201
Testing Times: 8 a.m. to noon every Thursday
Riverside Neighborhood Health Center
7140 Indiana Ave., Riverside, CA 92504
Testing Times: 8-11:30 a.m.Tuesdays; 1-4 p.m., 1-4 p.m. Thursdays
Desert AIDS Project
1695 N. Sunrise Way., Palm Springs, CA 92262
Testing times: 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. every Monday and Thursday
Appointments are strongly encouraged. Call: 866-331-3344 or 760-323-2118
Desert AIDS Project – Indio Office
81-893 Dr. Carreon Blvd., Ste. 3, Indio, CA 92201
Testing Times: 4 to 7 p.m. first and third Wednesday of the month (Walk-ins are welcome for Desert AIDS Project Indio)
Call: 760-342-4197 or toll free 866-331-3344
According to county officials, as of June 2011, there are 3,251 people living with AIDS in Riverside County and another 1,581people living with HIV. There are some estimates by regional health officials that more than 3,400 people have HIV in Riverside and San Bernardino counties and do not know they are infected.
“We just want people to get tested,” he said. “Whether it’s with their own physician or at one of our clinics, it’s about encouraging people to get it done.”
About 2,760 AIDS-related deaths were estimated between 1983 and June 2011 in the county. That rate, however, has decreased since 1991, officials said. Now, there are about AIDS 3.9 cases per 100,000 people.
“Knowledge is the first step in taking control of your health and your future,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, interim health officer for Riverside County in a written statement. “…World AIDS Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate our successes and remember those we have lost to this terrible disease, but also reminds us that we have a long way to go.”
The county’s department of public health offers several programs and service to those reaching out for HIV/AIDs support including:
- Assistance and/or Confidential Partner notifications
- Free Testing of Partners
- Assistance linking newly diagnosed HIV infected individuals with care
- Assistance to medical providers in locating newly diagnosed HIV infected individuals
Confidential Line: 951-637-6979
Early Intervention Program (EIP)
- Nursing Intake
- Psychosocial Assessment
- Health Education
- Nutritional Assessment
- MD Intake
- EIP staff provides a support network to address emotional and clinical needs
For information about these services and programs visit the Riverside County HIV/AIDS Program website at: www.rivcohivaids.org or call toll free 1-800-243-7275.