Eastern Maine Aids Network (EMAN) is a not-for-profit, grant oriented, free HIV testing site. Their testing is oral and rapid, meaning you get your test results in just 20 minutes. They do needle exchange, and offer all clean works for injection drug users. EMAN came to the University of Maine campus to offer a day of free testing for all members of the UMaine community.
Their outreach and education program is run by Umaine’s very own Adrianna Gomez. She said they also go to school and college campuses offering education and free testing. HIV does not have the awareness it should at a college campus and on its awareness week it seems appropriate to at least start the discussion and maybe bring some reality to its situation. Although the Awareness day as passed, it is time to realize the importance of this issue and the people it affects every day.
The CDC estimates are 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States with more than 40,000 people infected each year. Of the 1.2 million people in the U.S. living with HIV, 1 in 5 are unaware they are infected. With a free testing site so close to the University of Maine it is the responsibility of UMaine students to be in control of their health.
The facts are that if you are using needles or having unprotected sex, being checked for HIV should be a regular part of your health care routine. It’s about your safety as well as your partners; the responsible thing to do. Getting tested is never fun, but as cliche as it sounds collegiates, “it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
To learn more check out their website here: http://www.maineaidsnetwork.com/index.php