MS marks World AIDS Day leading the nation in STDs

Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 5:49 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - World AIDS Day was Thursday and according to AIDSVu latest data, more than 9,700 people in the state are living with HIV. The Jackson Medical Mall hosted the annual event to work toward reducing those numbers.

“Don’t be afraid to come out and get tested,” said Mia Walker.

The Laurel nurse spent World AIDS Day at the Jackson Medical Mall gathering information about new HIV treatments and medications to take back to her community. While there she also was tested.

“Our younger population really needs the education because not being given education in schools any more homes lack that conversation,” said Walker.

Nine organizations and healthcare facilities participated in panel discussions to educate the public about HIV and remove the stigma associated with it.

“Number one for chlamydia. Number one for gonorrhea. Number one for syphilis,” said CARE4ME Services Director Juanita Davis.

The health care organization provides programs and services for persons living with HIV. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Mississippi leads the nation in sexually transmitted diseases and has the fourth-highest HIV rate.

“We as a state have got to do better and the majority of the cases are reported among African Americans, but that’s not to say anyone can’t get it, but we’ve got to do better,” added Davis.

Social worker Alexandria Moore believes there is no stigma in testing and knowing your status.

“This is not pushed enough within the young adults and young teens,” said Moore. “I think that it’s something that’s preventable. I want to be an advocate and let them know that hey I go get tested regularly, so you should go get tested regularly.”

Free HIV testing was offered during the World AIDS Day event which also included information on prevention and treatment.

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