Health officials to offer free HIV testing across SC

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina health officials are offering free HIV and other testing as part of World Aids Day.

The testing for the virus that causes AIDS along with sexually transmitted diseases and Hepatitis C will be conducted Tuesday at local health clinics across the state, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Health officials estimate more than 20,000 people in South Carolina are HIV positive, with one in six of those people not knowing they have the virus.

Without treatment the virus can progress to AIDS and others can be unknowingly infected.

Also on Tuesday, DHEC will hold a panel discussion on Facebook called Ending the Epidemics that will include information on preventing the spread of HIV and how people can live with the virus.