Pinellas County will host free testing and educational event for World AIDS Day

The event takes place on Dec. 4 in St. Petersburg.

click to enlarge Photo via Adobe - Adobe
Adobe
Photo via Adobe


The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County (DOH) will host an event focused on testing and education to commemorate World AIDS Day next weekend.

The DOH, as part of the Pinellas Planning Partnership (PPP) has titled the event, “Access Granted: Ending the HIV Epidemic.” It takes place from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Dec. 4, at the Enoch Davis Center located at 111 18th Ave. S in St. Petersburg.

Unlike the 2020 World AIDS Day events that were virtual due to COVID-19 precautions, this year's event returns to an in-person format that includes educational sessions, testing, entertainment and more.

The morning portion of the program runs from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. as the Ujima Men's Collective Conference focuses on "opportunities for Black same gender loving men to develop life skills strategies in a non-threatening environment,” DOH said in a press release.

The afternoon portion of the event will focus on community awareness, with opportunities to find resources, get tested and enjoy food and performances.

In Pinellas, 2019 figures show a 53.2% rate in new diagnoses in the Black population. The rates among Latinx people are also high, at 29.2%. The highest rate is in men who have sex with men. Cases are also increased for those who use injectable drugs.

"We encourage anyone older than 13, regardless of risk, to get tested at least once for HIV/AIDS," said Darius Lightsey, HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator in the press release. "It will take a community effort to reduce our rates, and it all starts with education and testing."

The Pinellas Planning Partnership was established in 2011 to facilitate collaboration between HIV/AIDS service organizations in Pinellas County as a united effort.

DOH-Pinellas is also part of the Pinellas County Ending the HIV Epidemic Planning Advisory Council that develops strategies to combat rising rates of HIV/AIDS in the county. The groups invite the community to take part in the discussions about AIDS in Pinellas County.

For information about the event, pinellashealth.com or call (727) 824-6900. 

Send anonymous news tips to [email protected]. Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team works tirelessly to bring you news on how coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.

Subscribe to our newsletter and follow @cl_tampabay on Twitter. 

About The Author

Justin Garcia

Justin Garcia previously wrote for the USA Today Network, The Economic Hardship Reporting Project, Scalawag Magazine, and various other news outlets. When he's not writing, Justin likes to make music, read, play basketball and spend time with loved ones. 


Scroll to read more Tampa Bay News articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]