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Free HIV testing offered in Tunica

Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region (PPGMR) is offering free HIV testing in Tunica, Miss., through August 6. Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region (PPGMR) is offering free HIV testing in Tunica, Miss., through August 6.

The testing will be offered each Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at: Preventive Care Health Services, 2073 Old Highway 61 N, No. 2 (662-357-7602).

More than 9,500 Mississippians are currently living with HIV and Tunica County has one of the highest HIV infection rates in Mississippi.

African Americans are disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic compared to other racial/ethnic groups in Mississippi. Seventy-three percent of HIV-positive Mississippians are African Americans.

Since 2005, there has been a steady increase in HIV disease among African-American women, mainly attributed to heterosexual contact. Women and men can contract HIV through heterosexual contact, including oral sex. Anyone who has had unprotected sex of any kind should be tested. The test is completely painless, administered with a simple mouth swab, and results are available in about 30 minutes.

PPGMR offers also HIV testing at five locations in the Memphis area each week as part of its HIV testing and prevention counseling program. PPGMR employs three health educators, who are certified as HIV prevention counseling and testing Tennessee Master Trainers.

For more information, visit ppgmr.org or call Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region at 901-725-1717.

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