It's HIV Testing Day, and there's a major change in the way the Brazos County Health Department is testing for the virus.
The health department says the number of HIV cases in the county is on the rise, but the waiting game to get results is getting shorter.
Talking about or testing for sexually transmitted diseases or HIV aren't necessarily popular topics of conversation.
"I mean yeah it is embarrassing to go to the doctor’s office and say I want an HIV test. That's some serious stuff,” said a Texas A&M student.
The lack of knowing can be fatal according to the health department.
The Brazos County Health Department says the number of cases has gone up in the past year.
"There's an increase in both HIV and Syphilis in this community and that's concerning,” said Julie Anderson with the health department.
Syphilis is an S.T.D that is tested with HIV.
"Exposure to HIV can primarily occur through sexual activity, but it can also happen through like a needle stick,” said Anderson.
The health department says the high number is attributed to an increase in people taking the test.
There's a new test called the Rapid HIV Test. It takes 20 minutes instead of 2 weeks to find out if you are HIV positive or negative. The procedure takes a few seconds and it's painless.
"If you are sick with something, you go to the doctor to find out what's wrong, and so this is like any other disease. If you are infected then you need to know how to handle it and know how to treat it,” said Michele Young, a Texas A&M student.
For $25 you can find out something that could save your life.
The health department has partnered with Project Unity which provides information on treatment for anyone who is positive for HIV.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages everyone ages 13-64 to get tested for HIV at least once.
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