Bay County Health Department celebrates National HIV Testing Day

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - One in seven people with HIV doesn't know they have it. That's why the Bay County Department of Health says it's crucial to get tested.

The Florida Department of Health in Bay County held free HIV testing to commemorate the day on Thursday. (WJHG/WECP)

Thursday was National HIV Testing Day. To commemorate it, the Bay County Department of Health offered free testing all day.

The CDC recommends that everyone gets tested at least once in their lifetime.

Thursday patients could learn their HIV status in as little as 20 minutes. In addition to testing, the department offered other resources and prevention tools for those who may be at risk.

Heather Kretzer, Public Information Officer at the Florida Department of Health in Bay County, said, "Most people who end up contracting HIV probably thought it would never happen to them. So that's why it's so important to know your status and to take those extra steps to protect yourself."

The department also offers free, confidential HIV testing every Tuesday from 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Copyright 2019 WJHG. All rights reserved.