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Group to host free HIV/AIDS fair Saturday
Screenings, education available
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HIV/AIDS Health Fair

When: 1-5 p.m. Feb. 25

Where: 959 Athens St., Gainesville

Cost: Free

More info: or 678-832-7142

In honor of Black History Month and National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Avita Community Partners of Gainesville will host a free HIV health and wellness fair for the people of Hall County on Saturday.

All afternoon, volunteers will be offering a place for discreet and anonymous HIV/AIDS testing, HIV/AIDS educational material, free blood pressure readings, glucose readings and cholesterol testing.

Free food, entertainment, door prizes and goody bags will also be provided at the event.

According to Amber Hudson, event coordinator, this event is meant to give the people of Hall County a safe space to come forward and find out more about an illness that shouldn’t be taboo.   

“People need to know their status,” Hudson said in an interview with the Times Wednesday. “It’s better to know your status for better or worse.”

Hudson says that contrary to public belief, the rate of HIV/AIDS in Gainesville is relatively high.

In 2014 the Georgia Department of Public Health reported 739 cases of HIV infections in the Gainesville area.

Hudson also said that in Georgia, new cases of HIV skew disproportionately to minorities, with over 72 percent of all HIV diagnoses to African-Americans and more than 22 percent to Hispanics.

“We don’t want people to be afraid to be tested,” Hudson said. “Positive or negative, it’s a will to live and change. It may change your life for the better.”