November 30, 2022

Marion County World AIDS day event offers free testing, HIV resources


In 2019, Marion County was named one of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services priority jurisdictions to receive federal funding to reduce HIV transmission by 90 percent by 2030.  - Marion County Public Health Department

In 2019, Marion County was named one of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services priority jurisdictions to receive federal funding to reduce HIV transmission by 90 percent by 2030.

Marion County Public Health Department

More than 5,300 people in Marion County are living with HIV, and an estimated 797 more people are not aware they have the virus, according to the Marion County Public Health Department. The department will host a free World AIDS Day event Dec. 1 to offer resources and help spread awareness. 

The event will take place from 3-7 p.m. at Eskenazi Health Center, 1650 North College Avenue.  Attendees can receive free health services, including HIV and STD tests, dental screenings, flu and COVID vaccines, and information on HIV preventative care.

The theme for World AIDS Day 2022 is “Putting Ourselves to the Test: Achieving Equity to End HIV.” The theme is important because HIV can affect everyone, said Michael Butler, director of the Ryan White HIV Services Program at the Marion County Public Health Department.   

“One of the biggest causes of disparity are racial or ethnic backgrounds,” Butler said. “It’s important for us to be able to help all individuals access the treatment and care services that they need, regardless of their background, their ethnicity, their age, their income status.”

In 2019, Marion County was named one of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services priority jurisdictions to receive federal funding to reduce HIV transmission by 90 percent by 2030. 

“We want to remind the community that HIV is still an issue, but that it can be prevented,” Butler said. “You can prevent acquiring it and that people living with HIV can live long, healthy lives.”

According to the Marion County Public Health Department, people living with HIV who consistently take HIV medication and are virally susupressed can not transmit the virus sexually. Being virally suppressed means the amount of HIV in a person’s blood is so low that a test can not detect it.

Contact reporter Darian Benson at dbenson@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @helloimdarian.

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