World AIDS Day was Sunday, Dec. 1. In honor of the event, the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District STD/HIV program offered free HIV testing on Monday.
The testing procedure was a blood test, and within 10 minutes participants received their results.
The purpose of this event was to raise awareness of the worldwide epidemic of AIDS, which, according to health officials, has been on a steady increase.
The Department of Health Services reports that the cumulative number of those living with HIV in Nueces County is at 1,109. According to data recorded through Dec. of 2012, Nueces County is currently sits as the 17th highest in the state for HIV cases and 18th highest in the state for AIDS cases.
"We are finding that people are still not testing. By the time that most people finally get tested, they are already sick and have full blown AIDS," said Andrea Hanner, STD/HIV Clinic Program Manager. "It is preventable. Remember, condoms are great!"
Hanner states that HIV has become a manageable condition, comparable with diabetes - if one gets tested and learns of their condition early enough.
"We encourage everyone to get tested and know their HIV status," said Hanner. "Do not put it off. Know your status."