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County to offer free HIV testing Friday, Saturday


Free HIV testing Friday and Saturday

In observance of National HIV Testing Day, the Pinellas County Health Department will offer two days of prevention education and free HIV testing.

On Friday, National HIV Testing Day, the Health Department will offer free HIV testing 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at all five of its health centers. Locations offering this service in North Pinellas are:

• Tarpon Springs, 301 S Disston Ave., (727) 942-5457.

• Clearwater, 310 N Myrtle Ave., (727) 469-5800.

• Largo, 12420 130th Ave., (727) 588-4040.

The following day, the Health Department, in conjunction with community partners AIDS Services Association of Pinellas (ASAP) and the Metro Center, will offer prevention education and free HIV testing during the St. Petersburg Pride Festival on Central Avenue between 31st and 22nd Streets.

Health department staff will work from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. distributing condoms, providing information about HIV, STD's and hepatitis, and providing referrals for testing.

The Metro Center will offer Orasure and rapid HIV testing that day from 8 a.m.-noon at its main office, 3170 Third Ave. N, St. Petersburg.

ASAP also will provide Orasure testing at 2250 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, or rapid testing in its mobile unit during the event.

For more information about HIV/AIDS or testing, call the Pinellas County Health Department health center nearest you or

For more information about rapid testing, contact Deborah Brown of the Metro Center at (727) 321-3854 or David Karst of ASAP at (727) 321-7600.

Summer fun and backyard safety

Summer marks the time for families to enjoy some of America's most traditional pastimes: barbecues, pool parties and backyard gatherings.

However, family fun could be interrupted by a trip to the emergency room if simple safety steps aren't followed.

The Health Department offers these guidelines for home safety.

Gas and charcoal grills caused an average of 1,500 structure fires and 4,800 outdoor fires in or on home properties in the U.S. last year.

Here are some safety tips to make sure your next barbecue doesn't go up in flames:

• Designate the grilling area a "no play zone," keeping children and pets far away until grill equipment is completely cool.

• Before using, put your grill at least three feet away from other objects, including your house and any shrubs or bushes.

• Only use starter fluid made for barbecue grills when starting a fire in the charcoal grill. Never use gasoline.

• Before using a gas grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line to be sure it is working properly and is not leaking.

• Never use a match to check for leaks. If you detect a leak, immediately turn off the fuel and don't attempt to light the grill again until the leak is repaired.

• Never use a barbecue grill indoors or in any unventilated space. This is both a fire and carbon monoxide poisoning hazard.

For more information on staying safe in and around the home this summer, visit

Seminars and support groups

(free unless otherwise noted)

cancer patient's hope group: 2 p.m. Wednesday (every fourth Wednesday of the month), Mease Countryside Hospital, Meeting Room 4, 3231 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater, (727) 462-7500.

CPAP/BI-PAP CLINIC: 9 a.m. Wednesday (every Wednesday of the month), Bardmoor Medical Arts Building, 8839 Bryan Dairy Road, Largo, (727) 462-7500.

Boot camp for new dads: 10 a.m. Saturday, Morton Plant Hospital, 300 Pinellas St., Clearwater, (727) 462-7500. Fee.

hepatitis/liver disease support group: 7 p.m. June 26 (the fourth Thursday of the month), Mease Countryside Hospital, 3231 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater, (727) 384-1030.

County to offer free HIV testing Friday, Saturday 06/23/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 12:55pm]
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