The Starke County Health Department will be hosting AIDS Ministries/AIDS Assist. The group is based out of South Bend through the Methodist Church and works to educate the public about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Starke County Health Nurse Frank Lynch says they’re trying to target certain segments of the population.
“Those that are unable t get regular testing done through their doctor’s offices or services provided in a higher population area,” says Lynch.
During the screenings being offered on May 18th, individuals can receive testing for HIV, Hepatitis C, and Syphilis. The tests are offered on a quarterly basis at the Health Department.
The spotlight is being put on STD testing due to a recent HIV outbreak in the southern portion of Indiana. Data from the Indiana State Department of Health suggests 154 confirmed cases of the disease, though is thought largely due to needle exchanges.
Governor Mike Pence has ordered provisions to supply needles to populations most at risk of contracting the disease.
Lynch says if there is evidence to support whether a patient is infected, the testing doesn’t stop.
“It’s a screening to let them know that they may have [a disease.] Then there has to be confirmatory testing done beyond that,” says Lynch. “So this is just letting them know whether there should be or should not be confirmatory testing needed.”
AIDS Ministries also offers prevention tips at their locations and outreach events.
Screenings will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Starke County Health Department.