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Metro Newsroom

Public Health and Wellness to Offer Free HIV Testing at Jefferson Square Park on Thursday

Monday June 24, 2013

The Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness mobile unit, in partnership with Volunteers of America and Redeemer Lutheran Church, will be at Jefferson Square Park at Sixth and Jefferson from 11:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 27, offering free HIV testing. The testing is part of Louisville’s observance of National HIV Testing Day.

“Nearly 1.2 million people in the United States today are living with HIV and almost one in five of them don’t even know they are infected,” said Metro Public Health and Wellness director, Dr. LaQuadra Nesbitt. “We encourage people to join us on Thursday and get tested. Knowing your HIV status is the first step to a healthier life. There are now medications that can control the disease. Getting tested also empowers you to take action to prevent spreading HIV to others.”

Testing will be done using the Oraquick oral swab method, which does not require a blood stick. Test results will be available within 20 minutes. No appointments are necessary.

National HIV testing day is an annual campaign of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),, and other national and local entities. The initiative urges people “take the test and take control.”

National HIV Testing Day also will be observed in Louisville with a Red Ribbon Garden in Jefferson Square Park. Approximately 1,000 red ribbons will be “planted” in the park to represent Jefferson County residents living with HIV.

The garden was organized by Dr. Karen Krigger of Project Compassion and the University of Louisville Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine and the AIDS Service Center Coalition Inc., a group of 11 area organizations that provide services to people infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Also helping to make the Red Ribbon Garden possible are area churches including Metropolitan Community Church, New Zion Baptist Church, Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ and Redeemer Lutheran Church.