BY BTL STAFF
ROCHESTER, Mich. – Not knowing one’s HIV/AIDS status is dangerous. HIV/AIDS is a persistent problem, with nearly 50,000 cases diagnosed annually according to the Centers for Disease Control. Three decades ago, such a diagnosis was considered a death sentence. Today, with early detection and proper adherence to medications, people who are HIV positive are able to live long, full lives.
To help with diagnosis, Oakland University and UNIFIED have partnered to offer free HIV and syphilis screenings on Oakland’s campus every Thursday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
“Even though screening is on campus, members of the community are also invited to come in for screening,” said Laura Pittiglio, associate professor in the School of Nursing and coordinator of the program. “Rest assured, testing is either confidential or anonymous. Individuals who choose to be tested anonymously are given an identification number so they don’t have to provide their name.”
Pittiglio adds that for those who do test positive, counselors are available to provide referrals and other needed services. Since there currently is no cure or vaccine for HIV, prevention is critical for reducing rates of infection.
UNIFIED is an organization dedicated to the promotion of HIV health and beyond. UNIFIED provides the resources, as well as an additional supportive counselor, for the launch of the screening clinic – all certified by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Screenings take place at 2059 Human Health Building, 433 Meadow Brook Road in Rochester. There are plans to offer evening hour appointments later this semester. To set up an appointment or for more information, contact Laura Pittiglio at 248-364-8756.