Union Mission Phoenix Project offering free HIV testing to the community

SAVANNAH, Ga.

More than 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV right now.

Georgia ranks the 5th highest in the nation for adults and adolescents living with the infection, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
But one local group is working to change those numbers by offering free testing and education here in our communities.
News 3’s Courtney Cole has the story.


Right now in Georgia, there are more than 50,000 people living with HIV, formally known as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, according to the Department of Health.
And as the number of people it affects grows larger, it seems that the stigma around it does, too.
But in an effort to fight it, a local support group called the Phoenix Project is offering education & free HIV testing.
“Since there’s such a high rate of people getting HIV and new cases of HIV we need to go out to where the people are in the community and start testing them there,” said William Duncan, the HIV Health Educator of the Union Mission Phoenix Project.
That’s exactly what he says they do 5 days a week at the Union Mission Phoenix Project facility on East 34th Street.

“We’re doing free HIV testing. So it’s no needles, no blood, just a mouth swab and in 20 minutes you’ll get your results,” said Duncan.
Results he hopes will encourage more to be proactive about your welfare, regardless of the results…
“This is very important for the community, it’s very important for us here in Savannah and if affects everybody…even if you’re in a relationship, you’re married, you’re not having sex…we have brother’s sisters, nieces, nephews, so it’s important for everybody,” Duncan told News 3.
If your results are positive, the phoenix project also wants people to know that treatment isn’t only for the wealthy.
“There are so many programs out there a lot of people don’t know, which is ADAP(AIDS Drug Assistance Programs) you don’t have to come out of pocket with it…so a lot of people are living longer with it. So I think the more you know and the more you get educated and get tested, it starts from there,” said Teresa Pinkston the Clinical Outreach Nurse with the Union Mission Project.

Here’s information for the next free HIV testing event hosted by The Phoenix Project:

Tuesday, May 17th

West Broad YMCA

1110 May Street in Savannah

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Free & confidential

 

For more information about the Union Mission Phoenix Project, click here: http://bit.ly/1SZw05M

Here’s information for the next free HIV testing event hosted by The Phoenix Project:

 

Tuesday, May 17th

West Broad YMCA

1110 May Street in Savannah

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Free & confidential

 

For more information about the Union Mission Phoenix Project, click here: http://bit.ly/1SZw05M

 

For additional information about HIV, AIDS and prevention and staying healthy: http://1.usa.gov/1J61Fe7

 

http://1.usa.gov/1Uw46gX

 

Click here for more information about AIDS Drug Assistance Programshttp://kaiserf.am/1SLbWhU

 

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Georgia Department of Public Health

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