National HIV Testing Day, R U + U R - ?
Community organizations are partnering in a fun-filled event June 29th for National HIV Testing Day, R U + U R - ? This year's event Are you positive you are negative? will be a public gathering full of food, fun, and festivities that include free HIV testing. The event will be held Saturday, June 29 from noon-5PM at John Gwynn Jr Park in Peoria.
National HIV Testing Day is an annual campaign to encourage people of all ages to learn more about HIV and to get tested. Chris Wade, Central Illinois FRIENDS of People with AIDS /H.O.P.E. Initiative, states, "Our National HIV Testing Day event is a community day filled with music, raffles, hot dogs, popcorn, and camaraderie. The Elite Pulses of Hope Drumline will be performing their latest arrangements. We'll also have health information booths and guest speakers throughout the day. Of special interest will be the free confidential HIV testing onsite in the Illinois Department of Public Health Wellness on Wheels van. R U + U R - ?is a great question to get people thinking and a great opportunity for everyone to learn their HIV status, how to prevent the spread of HIV, and how people are living with this disease right here in the Peoria area."
In 2011, there were 32 new cases of HIV diagnosed and 765 individuals living with HIV/AIDS in the Peoria Region of 15 area counties. An increased number of people diagnosed with HIV now occurs in individuals in their late teens and early twenties; previously most diagnosis occurred in middle aged adults.
Greg Chance, Administrator for Peoria City/County Health Department, states, "The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested. Many people with HIV don’t have any early symptoms and don't know they have it. Even if you don’t feel sick, getting tested and getting early medical care can help you live a longer, healthier life. I encourage people to take the test and take control. Every time someone gets tested for HIV, everyone wins.
- People who find out they are HIV-negative can take steps to stay HIV-free.
- People who find out they are HIV-positive can get early treatment to help them live longer, healthier lives. They can also take steps to protect their partners’ health.
- Every new HIV infection prevented can save up to $367,000 per person in lifetime medical costs."
For more information on this National HIV Testing Day event call Chris Wade at Central Illinois FRIENDS of People with AIDS /H.O.P.E. Initiative, 309-643-2566.
Funding for this event is partially funded by a grant from the IDPH Center for Minority Health Services.