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Get Tested: Know if you have HIV

Nashua Public Health nurse Flavia Martin, left, and program assistant Jessica Ayala with the city’s Division of Public Health & Community Services stand beside the Mobile Clinic Van on Friday afternoon. They are preparing for Nashua HIV Day, set for June 27.

NASHUA – Those who may be concerned about spreading HIV can get a free test in Nashua on June 27.

Public health officials will offer free rapid testing at three locations throughout the day. The day acts as an opportunity to provide awareness around HIV, while offering testing for it right on the spot. Additionally, the first 50 people who do receive a test will get a $10 gift card, while there will be snacks available. The test itself is quick and noninvasive.

“It’s a fingerstick, similar to a diabetic type of fingerstick,” Public Health nurse Flavia Martin said.

The Mobile Clinic Van will make stops at the following locations to provide testing:

*9-11 a.m. – Nashua Public Library, located at 2 Court St.;

*Noon to 2 p.m. – Walnut Street oval where the vacant former district courthouse is; and

*3-6 p.m. – Division of Public Health & Community Services, located at 18 Mulberry St.

“The whole point of this is to ensure that we prevent anything from occurring,” program assistant Jessica Ayala said.

Ayala and Martin agree on the importance of intimate partners getting tested. Ayala said having the mobile van for this event is to meet people where they are. She said it can sometimes be difficult for people to come down to the division, so with the van, officials can go to those who want a test.

In general, Martin said it is good for someone to know their status.

“New Hampshire, in general, is a low-incident state, so we don’t have a lot (cases of HIV),” Martin said.

City health officials want to keep it that way, which is why they place so much emphasis on testing.