World AIDS Day is important because it reminds us that HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, has not gone away – there is still a vital need to increase awareness, fight prejudice, improve education and get tested. In the U.S., about 1 in 8 people who have HIV don’t know it. This year’s AIDS World Day theme is “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilience and Impact.
In recognition of World AIDS Day, on Thursday, Dec. 3, from 11 am – 1pm, Whittier Street Health Center (WSHC) is hosting an open house and “HIV/AIDS Testing Day” event, offering free HIV/HCV/STI testing, educational materials, a video screening other items will be distributed. Box lunches will also be provided. The event is sponsored by Gilead Sciences.
WSHC encourages everyone in Boston to get tested for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The only way to know for sure whether or not you have HIV is to get tested. You could have HIV and feel healthy. Everyone ages 15 to 65 needs to get tested at least once.
WSHC provides people with HIV testing and counseling services. WSHC’s HIV screening, prevention and treatment program includes free, confidential rapid 20-minute HIV testing at our main site and via our Mobile Testing Van to anyone upon request. Christine Pajarillo, vice president of Programs and Social Services said, “Patients who test positive, are immediately linked to a High Risk Case Manager and Peer Support to assist with linkage to medical care and other resources.”
Ending the HIV epidemic requires us to recognize and address the social challenges that block marginalized groups from equally accessing services. Although COVID-19 restrictions posed many challenges, WSHC continues to innovate to meet those in need during these unprecedented times. For more information, visit Whittier Street Heath Center.