The Sedgwick County Health Department plans to offer free HIV tests this week as part of National HIV Testing Day.
The procedures will be offered Friday from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the department’s main clinic in Wichita.
National HIV Testing Day began in 1995 to promote testing and early diagnosis.
The health department says more than 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, with about one in five unaware of being infected. The agency says people in treatment have a 96 percent reduction in transmission rates.
State health officials are working to quiet concerns that a bill would allow for the quarantine of people with HIV.
The bill is aimed at protecting emergency responders, making it easier to test an accident victim's blood to test for HIV or other infectious diseases. But, some were concerned that the bill removed long standing protections for persons with HIV/AIDS, and might open the door for them to be quarantined.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment sent a news release Friday to address concerns about the substitute in House bill 2183 regarding infectious and contagious diseases.
In the release, Kansas state epidemiologist Charles Hunt says recent media coverage has been based on a false premise and that "it is not and never was the state's intent to seek the authority for isolation or quarantine of persons related to HIV."
Thursday is World AIDS Day and this year marks 30 years of the global fight against the disease. This morning we complete a week-long series featuring the voices of Kansans who research, treat, fight and educate others about HIV and AIDS. Today we hear from Dawn, a wife and mother living with the disease who found out she was pregnant and HIV positive on the same day. There is an event to acknowledge the local and national history of HIV, celebrate the advances in care, and remember those who have been lost, Thursday evening beginning at 6:30.