The Philadelphia Center in Shreveport provided free HIV testing. In its eighteenth year, National Black HIV and AIDS Awareness Day is to encourage African Americans to get tested, find out if they have the disease, and learn more about treatment options.
In 2017, 700 African Americans were diagnosed with HIV in Louisiana. One out of four new HIV diagonoses among African Americans in Louisiana are women. “For an area this small, it is scary to see that many African Americans to come up HIV postive,” said Virginia Player.
If you missed today’s event, you can visit the Philadelphia Center on Mondays-Thursdays to be tested.
So what can you do to reduce your risk of getting HIV?
If you are living with HIV, take your medications as prescribed to stay healthy and greatly reduce the risk of passing HIV to a partner. If you are HIV-negative, ask your doctor about pre-exposure (PrEP), a daily pill to prevent HIV. Use a condom every time you have sex. Condoms reduce the risk of getting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Lastly, you should know your status and get tested for HIV.