CareSouth Carolina will join forces with “Greater Than AIDS” and Walgreens to provide free HIV testing and information in Hartsville.

As part of National HIV Testing Day, CareSouth Carolina will be at Walgreens, 901 S. Fifth St., to provide free and fast HIV tests on-site from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, June 27.

“Deep South states have the highest rates of new HIV-positive diagnosis, the highest percentage of people living with HIV and the lowest rates of survival for those who are HIV-positive,” said Care Innovations Director Brodderick Roary. “In South Carolina, a significant percentage of people most impacted by HIV live outside of large urban areas. Rural areas of South Carolina like the Pee Dee region are being impacted greatly by the epidemic making HIV testing very important. There is only one way to know whether you are HIV-positive and that is to get tested and know your status.”

CareSouth Carolina, through Care Innovations, provides comprehensive HIV/AIDS primary health care for individuals in Chesterfield, Darlington, Lee and Marlboro Counties. Patients can have a “one-stop” shop experience at CareSouth Carolina by receiving medical care, pre and post-test counseling, medications, care management, behavioral health, dental, transportation, outreach, support groups and referrals.

The National HIV Testing Day Community Partnership is part of an ongoing effort between Walgreens, Greater Than AIDS, health departments, and HIV/AIDS service organizations to broaden the reach of HIV testing and information in non-traditional settings and help people understand the latest in HIV prevention, treatment and care.

Over 275 health departments, AIDS service organizations and other community organizations are supporting the 2019 activation. BioLytical Laboratories, Chembio Diagnostics, and OraSure Technologies, Inc. are donating test kits and Abbott Rapid Diagnostics is providing support for outreach.