Thursday, June 26, 2003
DPH to offer free HIV tests June 27 results available in 20 minutes at some sites
Delaware’s Division of Public Health (DPH) and community organizations statewide will offer free HIV testing and risk counseling on National HIV Testing Day, June 27. DPH encourages Delawareans to “Take the Test. Take Control,” as the first step individuals can take to halt an epidemic that infects one of every 185 Delaware residents. Free HIV tests and information will be available at locations statewide throughout the week of June 23. Rapid HIV testing, which returns results in 20 minutes, will be available at Porter and Georgetown State Service Centers. Traditional blood test results take two weeks. Residents attending National HIV Testing Day events in each of Delaware's three counties will also receive confidential education about personal risk for HIV and AIDS, transmission, prevention and communication strategies. AIDS, the disease caused by HIV, is the second leading cause of death among Delawareans ages 25-44. Nationwide, two people age 13-25 contract HIV every hour, according to the American Association for World Health. In Delaware, 66 percent of all AIDS cases are due to injected drug use. Sharing needles is one of the highest risk behaviors for HIV transmission, along with unprotected sex with an injected drug user. Preventing unprotected sex is essential to stopping the spread of HIV. African Americans, who comprise less than 20 percent of Delaware's population, represent two-thirds of state AIDS cases. As of May 2003, 75 percent of Delaware's female HIV/AIDS cases were among African Americans. Testing is a key component of DPH’s HIV prevention program. Once individuals know their status, they can take appropriate action to protect themselves and others, such as seeking treatment and changing behaviors. “The greatest contributing factors in HIV transmission are not knowing you are at risk and not knowing your status,” said Maureen E. Dempsey, M.D., DPH director. “Because infected people may not have symptoms early on, the only way to know for sure is to be tested. DPH is committed to assuring that HIV testing is widely available, confidential and accompanied by effective counseling to reduce the possibility of infecting others.” For more information on HIV testing, call the Delaware HIV/STD Hotline at 1-800-422-0429.

Local HIV testing sites:
  • La Red Health Center, 505 A West Market Street, Georgetown. Times: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Free HIV testing and counseling, transportation, outreach and incentives, Spanish-speaking staff. Contact: (302) 856-5242.
  • Seaford Mission, North Street, Seaford. Times: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. : Free HIV testing and counseling, refreshments, games and prizes Contact: (302)-856-5242
  • Shipley State Service Center, 350 Virginia Ave., Seaford. Times: 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Free rapid HIV testing and counseling, Contact: Delaware HIV/STD Hotline: 1-800-422-0429
  • Georgetown State Service Center, 546 S. Bedford St., Georgetown. Times: 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Free Rapid HIV testing and counseling. Contact: Delaware HIV/STD Hotline: 1-800-422-0429
Pink Ribbon Golf Classic
This spring the eighth annual Delores Springer Pink Ribbon Golf Classic was held in Georgetown, at the Sussex Pines Country Club where 148 women came together to raise money for breast cancer. This benefit helps women under the age of 40 who do not qualify for any other programs and who have no insurance or are under-insured pay for mammograms and/or ultra sounds. Due to the generosity of all involved, the players and community, enough money has been raised to expand and the following services have been paid by the Pink Ribbon Fund over the last two years.
  • 34 women had mammograms and/or ultra sounds
  • 22 women diagnosed with cervical cancer had their treatment paid
  • 1 mastectomy, paid half and doctor wrote off half
  • Paid total cost for 25-year-old who had a lumpectomy
  • 2nd printing of resource guide for Delaware Women
  • Educational ladies night out- 67 women attended.
Christiana Care Health Systems sponsored this event and major donors included: AstraZeneca, Wilmington; The Edge Group, Lewes; The Shoppe of the Four Sisters, Bethany Beach; and Wal-Mart of Rehoboth. Many donations were received from throughout Sussex County and New Castle County. More than $24,000 was netted from this charity event. One-hundred percent of the money raised goes to help women. No administration cost is taken from the money raised. The winning teams this year were First Place Gross: Sandra Bunting, Judy Slacum, Terry Daisey and Bernie Reed; First Place Net: Anna Brown, Felicia Hickman, Marge Peck and Dolores Perna; Second Place Net: Ann Girard, Donna Hilderly, Toni Mears and Barbara Miller; Third Place Net: Betty Law, Trena Kelly, Kay Herrman and Colleen Law. Closest to the pin, Hole #3, Gail Petren; closest to the pin, Hole #6, Renie Dubreuil; closest to the pin, Hole #13, Marie McMartin; closest to the pin, Hole #15, Terry Daisey.