Alexandria's "Getting to Zero" initiative pushes for universal HIV testing across Alexandria with the aim of achieving Zero Infections | Zero HIV Deaths | Zero Stigma.
Everyone should know their status. #GetTested.
Opportunities for Testing
To check your status, please visit either of our Rapid Testing Clinics, which offer FREE HIV and STI testing:
Monday Evenings, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Alexandria Health Department (4480 King Street, Alexandria)
Saturday Mornings, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Neighborhood Health (6677 Richmond Highway, Alexandria)
You can also ask your doctor about HIV today! Review your risk factors and request an HIV test so that you can find out what your HIV status is. #KnowYourStatus
*Please arrive by 6:30 p.m. on Mondays and 11:15 a.m. on Saturdays to ensure you will be seen.
Free Testing Events:
We will also host free testing and confidential HIV testing for current students at George Mason University
Thursday, February 28 | 6 - 10 P.M.
(Lee Center ▪ 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria)
HIV/AIDS in Alexandria
HIV is a serious public health issue that affects us nationally and locally. It is estimated that more than 1.1 million people are living with HIV in the U.S. today—and 1 in 7 of them don't even know it. It is estimated that this population accounts for almost 40% of ongoing transmissions in the US. The City of Alexandria has the 5th highest rate of persons living with HIV/AIDS in Virginia, and the highest rate of HIV infection in Northern Virginia. And we continue to see a gradual rise in Alexandria's rates of new HIV infections since 2014.
"Getting to Zero" Initiative
Alexandria Health Department (AHD) is taking important steps to combat this growing issue. With a $540,000 grant from Virginia Department of Health, AHD has developed a City-wide HIV initiative: "Getting to Zero," with the aim of achieving Zero Infections | Zero HIV Deaths | Zero Stigma.
Alexandria's "Getting to Zero" initiative pushes for universal HIV testing across Alexandria. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that every person between 13 and 64 be tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. (Persons at higher risk should get tested at least once a year as recommended by their doctor.) HIV screening helps to identify people living with HIV and get those individuals into care. Early treatment can, not only improve the health of that individual, but also significantly reduce the risk of HIV transmission.
Most doctors do not routinely offer HIV testing. And most patients don't ask to be tested—because it doesn't occur to them, or they are embarrassed/afraid.
AHD's goal is to make HIV testing in the City of Alexandria as routine as getting a cholesterol test. "Getting to Zero" will also
- build relationships with and support those who learn they are HIV-positive
- help those at-risk reduce risk through: behavior change, use of condoms, and/or taking PrEP (medications that reduce the risk of HIV transmission)- promote preventive behaviors while reducing stigma through outreach, education, and counseling
- inform local providers about CDC guidelines on universal testing and care
Today, HIV is essentially a chronic disease. People live long, healthy lives if they are in treatment and take care of themselves.
Alexandria Health Department & HIV
Alongside community partners, Alexandria Health Department also sponsors an annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day event and an HIV/AIDS Service Awards Reception.