VALDOSTA – About 1.1 million people in the United States have HIV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And approximately one in eight of them don’t know they have it.

June 27 is recognized annually as National HIV Testing Day, a day dedicated to encouraging people to get tested for HIV.

Georgia Department of Public Health’s South Health District will host several events throughout June to recognize National HIV Testing Day and bring awareness to the importance of HIV testing, health officials said.

South Health District will offer free HIV tests:

• 9 a.m.-12 p.m., June 17: Lowndes Associated Ministries to People Inc., 714 Charlton St.

• 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., June 20: TEACH Ministries, Inc., 606 S. Lee St. 

• 11 a.m.-1 p.m., June 24: Soup Kitchen, 601 N. Lee St. 

• 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., June 27: V-Town Gifts & More, 2019 N. Ashley St. 

During the events, South Health District will give out free T-shirts, condoms, tote bags and more to people who get tested.

Free KFC meals will be given to the first 30 people who get tested at TEACH, and Smok’n Pig barbecue meals will be given to the first 100 people who get tested at V-Town, health officials said.

Other events may be added throughout the month and will be published on the South Health District website and Facebook page.

People can receive a free HIV test every day at all South Health District health departments during regular business hours.

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