Loretto Hospital offering free rapid HIV testing this month

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Loretto Hospital is offering free Rapid HIV testing on Thursdays throughout the month of December.

No appointments are necessary, and walk-ins are welcome between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Outpatient Services on the sixth floor of the hospital, 645 S. Central Ave. Testing is strictly confidential.

Austin had the second-highest number of new HIV infection diagnoses of all Chicago neighborhoods in 2020, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) HIV/STI Data Report.

While the total number of Chicagoans diagnosed with HIV or AIDS was the lowest in four decades, non-Hispanic Blacks represented a disproportionate 50% of all new cases. The viral suppression rate among Austin residents diagnosed with HIV was 54%, as opposed to 60% citywide.

“Free testing is a first step in ensuring members of our community living with or vulnerable to HIV have access the healthcare services they need, including the medication regimen that treats HIV and leads to viral suppression,” Dr. Carlos Zambrano, Loretto’s chief medical officer fand an infectious disease specialist, said in a statement. “Viral suppression means these individuals can live a high-quality life with reduced risk of passing HIV to others.”

Free HIV screenings are available to uninsured or underinsured residents of Austin and surrounding west side communities.

For more information, call at 833-TLH-LOVE or visit https://www.lorettohospital.org.

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