Wellness center in Columbus observes National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Month with free testing

Wellness center in Columbus observes National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Month with free testing

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Thursday marks National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day emphasizes the importance of getting tested for HIV infection.

Many in the Chattahoochee Valley gathered to spread awareness of HIV and AIDS in the black community. The Debra Smith Wellness Center offered Muscogee County residents with free HIV testing.

According to the CDC, black Americans represent 14 percent of the U.S. population, but account for 44 percent of all new HIV infections.

"African Americans have been a high risk since the beginning of this epidemic. In fact, they make up 40,000 of all infections in the state of Georgia," said Jeremy Hobbs, executive director of the Debra Smith Wellness Center.

"It's out there and the best thing to do is to come get tested because you can live longer," commented peer specialist Juanita Hubbard.

National HIV/AIDS Awareness Day began in 2000.

The CDC funded all services provided by the Debra Smith Wellness Center Thursday.

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