In the kickoff event leading up to World AIDS Day, the UCSB MultiCultural Center is offering free, fast and anonymous HIV testing today.

The MCC will provide the testing service today from 10 to 4 p.m. in the MCC Lounge. The test results are available after about 20 minutes, following a mouth swab. The test, OraQuick, is a Food and Drug Administration-approved test and only requires an oral sample, which allows for quick results. The event is co-sponsored by UCSB’s African Diasporic Cultural Resource Center, the Pacific Pride Foundation, Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, Student Health and the Women’s Center. In addition, PPF will supply the testing materials and counselors.

Additionally, various student groups will hold events throughout the week in preparation for World AIDS Day this Saturday. On Wednesday, from 11 p.m. to 2 p.m., groups such as the Sex and Relationship Interns at Student Health, Queer Student Union and Healthy Eating and Living interns will table in Storke Plaza, offering students condoms, free red ribbons – the international symbol of support for HIV/AIDS – and educational materials.

HIV, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a retrovirus that can lead to AIDS, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. Infection with HIV occurs from the transmission of bodily fluids, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluid and breast milk.