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Planned Parenthood to administer free oral HIV screenings

By Hannah C. Owenga
On March 3, 2011

  • Senior wide receiver and running back Billy Foster escapes for a 93-yard touchdown against Austin Peay. The Tigers will need similar big plays to keep up with Southern Methodist University’s high-powered offense on Saturday. David Minkin

University of Memphis Student Health Services and Planned Parenthood of Greater Memphis will provide free oral HIV screenings today in Brister Hall from noon to 3 p.m.

Joan Carr, director of community affairs at Greater Memphis Planned Parenthood, said HIV testing is extremely important.

"We know of many, many people in the Memphis area who are HIV positive who live normal, healthy lives because they are on viral suppressive treatments that keep the HIV virus in check," Carr said.  "The sooner HIV-positive individuals begin treatment, the better their chances are for living a long life and healthy life."

Several employees and volunteers from Planned Parenthood will be on hand to help with the day's services. Tests will be performed orally, using the OraQuick rapid HIV antibody test, and students will receive their results after 20 minutes.

Those tested will receive counseling about practicing safer sex, and educational pamphlets about HIV and other STDs will also be available, Carr said.

"We want everyone to know their HIV status so they can better protect themselves and their partners," she said.

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