Groups Urge MA Residents to Get Tested for HIV, Work to End Stigma
Friday, June 25, 2021
WORCESTER, Ma. -- This Sunday is National HIV Testing Day, when people are urged to find out their HIV status and work to end the stigma around HIV and AIDS.
Lamar Brown-Noguera, community relations manager for AIDS Project Worcester, said many of the group's services were paused at the beginning of the pandemic, until it was able to get the proper personal protective equipment, and testing numbers still are not where they were pre-pandemic.
Brown-Noguera emphasized the importance of staying up-to-date on sexual health, every day of the year.
"Being an individual in a relationship where I have a partner who is HIV-positive, and I'm HIV negative, it's even more of an important incentive in even my own personal life to have a regular testing and checkup routine," Brown-Noguera explained.
They added testing for HIV is available at AIDS Project Worcester on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and encouraged Commonwealth residents to reach out to their own local agency that provides testing for more information or service referrals.
Brown-Noguera pointed out in the last year-and-a-half with stay-at-home mandates, fewer people were making the effort to go out and get tested. They expect demand for testing, as well as prevention and treatment services, to increase as more people get vaccinated against COVID-19 and start to interact more.
"Cases of, let's say, hookups and one-night stands will happen more often," Brown-Noguera noted. "We are seeing more and more that need to know and that access for testing, and need for barrier methods, condoms, PrEP [pre-exposure prophylaxis] and PEP [post-exposure prophylaxis] and all that."
Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, echo the call for people to get tested. This year in particular, they're raising awareness of the many ways and places to do so, including self-tests at home.
Many local health departments and community organizations distribute free HIV self-tests, which also can be purchased at pharmacies or online.
get more stories like this via email
The State of California is launching a new program that will pay college students $10,000 to volunteer doing public service work for a year. …
A coalition of more than 100 local elected officials is pleading for action on the Public Lands Act, a bill that would add protections for more than …
It's been nearly a year since North Dakota began collecting racial data on people accused of committing crimes - a process that paves the way for a re…
Health and Wellness
Excessive screen time can cause a host of negative side effects in kids, but as some Indiana schools go virtual because of the omicron variant…
The second year of the 134th Ohio General Assembly officially starts today, as both the state House and Senate convene. One of the most urgent tasks …
South Dakota is seeing another round of below-freezing temperatures. As folks bundle up, Salvation Army chapters hope they'll consider donating …
Groups representing young people in Montana hope to stop a slate of election laws from going into effect before the state's primary in June. The …
Colorado and other states are hoarding more than $6 billion intended for struggling families, according to new analysis. In 2020, Colorado denied …