DALLAS - After the big news broke that Charlie Sheen was HIV-positive, Dallas County Health and Human Services hoped more folks would be motivated to get tested for HIV.
"Today is World Aids Day. Dallas County Health and Human Service is providing free testing," Zachary Thompson, Director of DCHHS.
And now is the time to get tested. Especially for kids under 18.
"We realize that the number of new HIV cases are going up in terms of our younger population, 13 to 18 age group. One because they're having unprotected sex. Two. A lot of people maybe think that AIDS is not as deadly as it was 30 years ago," Thompson said.
Thompson says the city is number one in Texas when it comes to new infection rates.
And you definitely don`t want to have unprotected sex in a big city.
"In mostly, urban counties in the United States we`re seeing an increase in new infections," Thompson said.
If you have any reason to get tested don`t let fear keep you home.
"When you see Magic Johnson or Charlie Sheen, who are now living a very productive life, you can see that it`s not a death sentence."
So let`s be honest. Keeping your pants on is the most effective prevention, but temptation can cloud your judgment. So thanks to Durex, now you can text your partner with a condom emoji to remind them it ain't happening without it.
If you missed your chance to get tested on World Aids Day, no worries. Out of the Closet in Dallas provides it free, year-round.
"Tuesday through Saturday from ten (a.m.) to seven (p.m.)," Cordero Hale, HIV testing counselor for AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said.
There is also a preventative drug called PrEP that can reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV by more than ninety percent. That could prove life-saving for gay and bi-sexual men, since 1 in 4 are at risk for HIV infection. Also, among people who inject drugs, nearly 20% are at high risk too.
No excuses. Know your status and get tested, folks.