AURORA, Ill. – In recognition of National HIV Testing Day, state Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, is partnering with local health care providers to bring a free HIV testing clinic to residents in Aurora.
“With HIV affecting so many communities across the state, it is critical that we have ample testing options easily accessible to individuals,” said Hernandez. “There are more testing options than ever before and knowing your HIV status can help you stay healthy. I am eager to bring this event to the community and will continue to fight to ensure funding for critical programs that help connect residents to care and advocate on behalf of individuals living with HIV and AIDS.”
National HIV Testing Day is observed annually on June 27 to promote testing options. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1.2 million people in the United States have HIV, including about 161,800 people who are unaware of their status. Nearly 40% of new HIV infections are transmitted by people who don’t know they have the virus and for people with undiagnosed HIV, testing is the first step in maintaining a healthy life and preventing HIV transmission. Under current law, individuals with HIV can be criminally prosecuted for engaging in consensual sex, needle-sharing, and donating blood. This year, Hernandez co-sponsored House Bill 1063 to repeal the Criminal Transmission of HIV law, ensuring that Illinois is treating HIV like any other chronic disease through a public health lens.
Hernandez, along with state Senator Christina Castro, are partnering with the Open Door Health Clinic of Illinois and Walgreens to provide a free HIV testing clinic. The clinic will run from June 21 to June 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Open Door Clinic’s Elgin and Aurora locations. Individuals interested can call or text 630-945-6229 for an appointment.
“In the last 12 months, Open Door Clinic has tested 1,228 clients for STI and HIV and AIDS, and we are eager to increase these numbers with this free clinic,” said Ket Herena, Director of Programs and Community Relations at Open Door Clinic. “HIV testing and early diagnosis can be lifesaving, so we are very grateful to be working with other community groups and our local elected officials to bring this event to the community.”
For more information, please contact Hernandez’s constituent services office at 630-270-1848 or at RepBarbaraHernandez@gmail.com.