CLEARFIELD -- In conjunction with Utah's HIV Awareness Week, the Davis County Health Department is offering a free rapid HIV testing clinic.
Today through Friday, people who are at risk for HIV infection are encouraged to be tested and receive HIV counseling in taking control of their lives, said Bob Ballew, Davis County Health public information officer.
Free rapid HIV tests and other sexually transmitted disease testing will be offered in partnership with the county health department and Midtown Community Health Center.
Free testing will be available from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday at Midtown's Davis County Medical Clinic, 22 S. State St., Suite 1007, Clearfield.
No appointment is needed, Ballew said.
"Anyone who has ever had unprotected sex or shared needles with a partner whose HIV status was unknown should consider being tested for HIV," County Health Director Lewis R. Garrett said in a prepared statement.
A rapid HIV test produces quick results, with results of each test available in about 20 minutes.
"The only way to find out if you have HIV infection is to get tested," Garrett said.
"Knowledge of HIV status is essential. If you test positive for HIV, you can access necessary treatment and take precautions to prevent infecting others."
In Davis County in 2010, nine new cases of HIV were identified, Garrett said. About 2,551 Utahns have been diagnosed and are living with HIV/AIDS.
"This under-represents the actual number of individuals who are infected with HIV," Garrett said. "It does not include those who are infected and have not been tested."
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. Almost 40 percent of people with HIV are not diagnosed until they have progressed to AIDS, Garrett said.
"This can be up to 20 years after they first became infected with the virus," he said.
"For those at risk, finding out your HIV status is the first step to improving your health and the health of your partners."
Additional information about HIV testing is available by contacting the Davis County Health Department Disease Hotline at 801-525-5200 or by visiting www.daviscountyutah.gov/health.
Officials said all calls made to the health department are kept confidential.