Thousands of Laredoans May be Infected With HIV and Not Realize It
The City of Laredo Health Department is recognizing National HIV testing day and say thousands of Laredoans may be infected with the deadly virus and not even realize it.
Reporter Carolina Garcia has that story.
"Many people in Laredo are carrying the virus right now and they don't know because they feel fine they look fine but the virus inside the body is causing a lot of damage . It's destroying our good cells which defend our body."
Arturo Diaz from the City of Laredo Health Department says the Center for Disease Control believes about 3 thousand people in Laredo are infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and are not aware of their status.
"It's good for people to now their status if they come in they test negative that's great that way they have the peace of mind and take steps so they can stay negative. Now if someone happens to test HIV positive then that way we can enroll them in a program we we can keep them healthy."
During national HIV testing day, the Health Department is inviting the community to take advantage of the free services they offer.
"It's confidential anyone who feels like they've been at risk of HIV infection they're welcome to come in and take an HIV test regardless of their age."
Diaz says they see patients as young as thirteen years of age and highlights that they do not need a parents consent to get tested .
A few years ago he says treatment for HIV was difficult to keep up with because it included taking dozens of pills every day. He says nowadays there is really good medication out there.
He says they currently work with about 2 hundred cases on a daily basis....that already receive free treatment.
" We would offer them medical services ophthalmology care. We help them with their medication with whatever the case may be so again we can keep them healthy."
The City of Laredo Health Department offers free testing and treatment for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
They are located in the 26 hundred block of Cedar. You can call 795-4901 for more information.
Reporting from the studio Carolina Garcia Pro8news.