PRESS RELEASE: Free HIV Testing Available in Recognition of National HIV Testing Day in Hopkinsville

Heartland CARES, Inc.
619 North 30th Street
Paducah, KY 42001

CONTACT: Suzie Webb, Communications and Development Team Leader (270-444-8183)
communications AT hcares.org

June 21, 2017

Free HIV Testing Available in Recognition of National HIV Testing Day

(Paducah, KY) – Heartland CARES, Inc. (HCI) in partnership with St. Luke Free Clinic, the Christian County Health Department and Jennie Stuart Health, will be providing fast, free and confidential HIV testing in Hopkinsville as part of National HIV Testing Day, Thursday, June 29, 2017 from 10:00 am until 5:30 pm. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all people ages 13-64 get tested at least once. People at higher risk should be tested at least once per year and people who engage in more risky behaviors benefit from even more frequent testing.

HCI staff and trained volunteers will administer the rapid test at St. Luke Free Clinic in Hopkinsville, 408 West 17th Street, across from Jennie Stuart Medical Center. The rapid test takes approximately 15 minutes and requires a slight finger prick.

In addition to Heartland CARES’ clinic in Paducah, the organization offers clinic hours once a month in Hopkinsville at St. Luke. HCI’s physician, medical staff, and medical case managers are all available on these visits.

According to the CDC and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, one in eight Americans who are infected with HIV do not know it. At least one Kentuckian is diagnosed with HIV every day.

“Our trained and caring staff and volunteers counsel everyone who comes in for a test and link anyone who tests positive to care immediately through Heartland CARES,” according to Heartland CARES Executive Director Donna Reeder. “We are proud to increase our presence in Hopkinsville and Christian county. We hope our additional presence will encourage more people to get tested and if necessary, be linked to care,” Reeder added.

“St. Luke Free Clinic is happy to partner with Heartland Cares to bring this testing opportunity to Christian and the surrounding counties. The health of our community is very important to us,” said St. Luke Free Clinic Director Sara Nell Payne.

As an incentive for testing, the first 20 people who come in for an HIV test will receive a $10 Walmart gift card and have an opportunity to win one of four $50 Walmart gift cards.

Heartland CARES, Inc. is a non-profit, service organization providing comprehensive, client-centered, quality health care, support services, prevention education, and HIV testing in western Kentucky and southern Illinois. Quality health care is provided to persons living with HIV/AIDS, support services are provided to clients and their families, and prevention education and testing are provided to clients, their families, and the community at large. Within the community, we strive to prevent new infections and reduce the stigma associated with this disease by promoting awareness, acceptance, and equality.

St. Luke Free Clinic has provided exceptional healthcare for people in Hopkinsville and surrounding areas since 1993. St. Luke provides healthcare services through volunteer care-givers to patients who are low-income and the working uninsured. Services at St. Luke are provided to all persons regardless of their culture, social and economic background.

The Christian County Health Department provides and promotes affordable medical services, community health education and environmentally safe surroundings for present and future citizens of Christian County. We provide preventative care services to ensure the health and safety of those who live in the county.

Jennie Stuart Health is a private, not-for-profit health organization that includes an acute-care medical center, free standing outpatient surgery, medical imaging, laboratory, rehabilitation, occupational health and home health services and an integrated physician network. For more information, call (800) 887-JSMC (5762) or click on jsmc.org.

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MEDIA INVITATION

Please join us for photo and interview opportunities during our media time from 11:00 am until 12:30 pm. Local community leaders have been invited to join us at this time for testing.

When: Thursday, June 29, 2017
11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Where: St. Luke Free Clinic
408 West 17th Street
Hopkinsville, KY

Sponsored by: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Heartland CARES, Inc., St. Luke Free Clinic, the Christian County Health Department and Jennie Stuart Health.