June 26, 2019 4:12 pm

Guelph to host HIV Testing Day on Thursday

ARCH Guelph provides support and programs around HIV-AIDS in Guelph and Wellington County.

Matt Carty / Global Guelph

Guelph is one of a number of communities in Canada that will be taking part in the second annual national HIV Testing Day on Thursday.

HIV-AIDS Resources and Community Health (ARCH) is hosting the event out of the Guelph Community Health Centre on Wyndham Street in downtown Guelph.

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It’s being held in partnership with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

Testing will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and results can be given in under a minute.

“The goal of the day is to effectively target groups that are disproportionately affected by the virus,” ARCH capacity builder Juan Medina said in a statement.

About 65,000 people Canada have HIV, and this year’s theme is Know Your Status, as one in five Canadians living with HIV are unaware they have the virus.

The day also aims to reduce the stigma often associated with HIV testing.

“Building on the success of last year, this event is truly about normalizing HIV testing, increasing Canadians’ capacity to make informed decisions regarding their own health and decreasing stigma,” said Gary Lacasse, executive director of the Canadian AIDS Society.

HIV Testing Day was created in response to rising HIV rates in Canada.

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According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, there was a 17 per cent increase in the number of new HIV infections between 2014 and 2017.

More information on HIV Testing Day can be found online.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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