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Bergen Freeholders Allocate $135,000 To Fund HIV Services

Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Photo Credit: co.bergen.nj.us

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Free HIV testing, counseling and referral services will continue in Bergen County thanks to a state grant.

The Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders on Wednesday unanimously adopted Resolution #204-16, authorizing the acceptance of nearly $135,000 of State grant funding to continue the Bergen County Department of Health Services’ program for free HIV testing, counseling, and referral services. The grant will allow the county to carry out at least 1,000 tests in 2016.

“We all have been touched personally by this disease, or know someone who has, in the 35 years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic,” said Freeholder David L. Ganz, who serves on the Health Services Committee. “Early testing is key to preventing needless infections and deaths from HIV/AIDS. People who are at-risk should absolutely take advantage of the free testing the County offers—not being able to afford the test should not be a barrier to knowing one’s status. I’d like to commend our Department of Health Services for nearly 30 years of providing testing to Bergen County residents.”

The grant also allows the Bergen County Department of Health Services to provide community outreach, with free HIV testing events at local colleges like Bergen Community College, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and Ramapo College.

They also offer free HIV testing events held at various municipalities in Bergen County, and at local pharmacies with Walgreens and Greater than AIDS in the days leading up to National HIV Testing Day on June 27.

The HIV Program also works in collaboration with the Bergen County Tuberculosis (TB) Control Program to offer HIV counseling and testing for all TB cases and suspects due to the comorbidity of both diseases.

Bergen County has operated its HIV counseling and testing program since 1989, annually testing around 1,000 Bergen County residents. The county performs testing free of charge at the Bergen County Housing, Health, and Human Services Center, located at 120 South River Street in Hackensack. The testing is discreet and confidential, with results in 20 minutes. Residents interested in getting tested can simply ask for “Health Counseling” at the front desk to get tested.

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