Pharmacy Residency (PGY1)

Parkland to host community testing events for National HIV Testing Day

Parkland to host community testing events for National HIV Testing Day

Early detection and education key to reducing HIV incidence

On National HIV Testing Day (June 27) Parkland Health will host two community-driven testing events aimed at raising awareness and promoting early detection of HIV. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas reported 4,377 new HIV diagnoses in 2021.

KFF's Greater Than HIV program and Walgreens have partnered to form the largest HIV testing partnership in the U.S., together with health departments and community providers such as Parkland, the national event will offer more than 82,000 free rapid HIV tests in stores and through self-test distribution on National HIV Testing Day on Thursday, June 27.

Testing will be available at the following Walgreens locations in Dallas on Thursday from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.:

  • 3418 McKinney Ave., Dallas, 75204
  • 5101 S. Lancaster Road, Dallas, 75241

Parkland peer navigators will also be available to provide the latest information on HIV prevention and treatment and to help connect individuals with education and resources for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and HIV care. PrEP is taken to prevent getting HIV and is highly effective for preventing HIV when taken as prescribed as it reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99%, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Additionally, CDC data shows PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from injection drug use by at least 74%.

In addition to Thursday’s events, free HIV and STI testing, treatment and STI education is available year-round at Parkland, including at all of the 16 Community Oriented Primary Care (COPC) health centers and through the system’s Access to Care & Coverage Program, which brings Parkland to a neighborhood near you.

Helen King, MD, Infectious Diseases Service Chief at Parkland Health and Associate Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center emphasizes the critical importance of knowing one’s HIV status.

“Early detection of HIV is paramount in managing the disease and preventing its transmission,” said Dr. King. “Regular testing empowers individuals to take control of their health and seek timely treatment if necessary. Our goal at Parkland is to ensure we are making testing accessible and stigma-free, and community events such as these help us achieve this.”

The Parkland HIV Services Department’s mission is to end the HIV epidemic by providing excellent treatment and prevention services, through improved linkage of those who are newly diagnosed with HIV to medical care, helping patients remain in continuous medical care and maintain undetectable viral loads; as well as strengthening other prevention resources.

“At Parkland we conduct tens of thousands of HIV tests through our community outreach and primary care avenues each year, allowing us to diagnose earlier and help our patients get connected to the appropriate resources to help reduce the spread of HIV and ensure they continue to live full, healthy lives,” said Ellen Kitchell, MD, Medical Director of HIV Services at Parkland Health. “While currently there is no cure for HIV, there are effective medications – antiretroviral therapy, or ART – that fight back against the virus by targeting different parts of HIV that try to replicate themselves.”

For more information on services available at Parkland, please visit www.parklandhealth.org.

Back