News Release

Health Department of Northwest Michigan
serving Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego Counties
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June 27 is National HIV Testing Day
Free, anonymous, confidential HIV testing available year round at Health Department

(June 25, 2010) In an effort to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, public health officials encourage everyone to know their HIV status. Testing for HIV is painless; a sample is collected with a swab in the mouth. Appointments for free, anonymous, confidential HIV testing are available at Health Department of Northwest Michigan clinics by calling 800-432-4121.

The National Test Day theme, "Take the Test, Take Control", was chosen to motivate people to get tested for HIV. Then if results are positive, to get treatment and if negative, assess risk and change risky behaviors.

According to a report released this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) & Prevention, about 45% of American adults age 18 to 64 years have been tested at least once for HIV. "The only way to know if you are infected with HIV is to be tested," said Bert Notestine, from the HIV Testing & Counseling Program at the Health Department of Northwest Michigan. "Knowing your status can protect your health and the health of your partner."

The National HIV Testing Mobilization Campaign makes these recommendations to control HIV:

"Everyone has the power to help stop the spread of HIV," said Notestine.

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties. For additional information about HIV Counseling & Testing at the Health Department, call Notestine at 231-347-6014. For a list of HIV/AIDS Counseling & Testing sites in Michigan, visit