NAACP, AHF offer free HIV and STD testing at Los Angeles Convention Center

On Saturday, July 23, 2011 from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM, please join AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the NAACP with free HIV rapid testing and testing for other STDs, including gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis. The event will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center, West Hall A. Free HIV rapid testing and STD screening will also take place Sunday, July 24th through Tuesday, July 26th, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM daily in the exhibit hall.

Throughout the day there will be free incentives to test, including distribution of free male and female condoms. To underscore the ease—and importance—of testing, the partners will promote the 'No Big Deal' initiative, creating an opportunity for local elected officials and celebrities attending the convention to come to the AHF Health Spot mobile testing van to declare, 'It's No Big Deal to Take An HIV Test.' This is a new community-based mobile van program being spearheaded by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas as well as AHF and other community stakeholders to address and stem the high rates of gonorrhea, chlamydia and HIV in South Los Angeles.

This is the second year that AHF has partnered with the NAACP at their annual convention. Last year at the annual NAACP Convention in Kansas City, Kansas, AHF offered HIV rapid testing over a four-day period and tested over 500 conference attendees. This weekend, NAACP conference attendees tested will be able to obtain their HIV test results on site within 20 minutes after using a finger prick or an oral swab device for testing. Anyone 13 years of age or older can come to the Health Spot mobile van and get a free HIV or STD test.

"There is an epidemic of HIV and STDs in the Black community in the U.S. Washington, D.C. is currently the epicenter for HIV infection in this country, where it is estimated that 1 of every 33 individuals over the age of 13 living in the District is infected. In South Los Angeles, we have an epidemic among sexually active youth who have no idea that they are at risk for infection, not only with HIV, but other STDS as well," said Cynthia Davis, MPH, Assistant Professor, and HIV Testing Program Director Drew University HIV/Education and Outreach Project, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, California and a Board member of AHF. "This event at the NAACP Convention gives us an opportunity to really reach out to the larger Black community as well as elected officials and celebrities."

Elected and appointed officials and celebrities who are schedule to attend the NAACP convention include: current U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin and former U.S. Surgeon Generals Dr. Joycelyn Elders and Dr. David Satcher; Congresswoman Maxine Waters, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas; actor, Hill Harper; award-winning broadcast journalist, Pat Harvey; and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. These elected officials and celebrities are being challenged and invited to stop by AHF's Health Spot mobile van to promote HIV testing and/or to take a free HIV test themselves.

Source: AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)

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