With more than 2,000 reported cases of people living with HIV in El Paso County and even more believed to be infected but not diagnosed, the City of El Paso Department of Public Health’s HIV Prevention Program is teaming up with other organizations to bring international awareness to the issue.
“This event is a chance for us to share information with our partners in the region and to reflect on the challenges we face in this battle and the strides we have made in fighting the disease,” said Joanna Arriola, Program Supervisor. “We need to remind everyone that about 1 in 8 people are living with HIV and don’t know their status.”
The Binational HIV/AIDS Candlelight Vigil is a tradition that aims to raise social consciousness and help stop the shame and discrimination often associated with the disease. The event brings together representatives from El Paso, Las Cruces, and Ciudad Juarez to destigmatize testing, promote various methods of prevention, and early linkage to care.
The event will feature testimonies from people who have been impacted by HIV/AIDS as well as free and confidential HIV testing.
Various agencies will be providing information about the services offered to the community, as well as education on topics including HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, and substance abuse.
The public is invited to attend the event which will take place on Friday, May 19, 2017 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church located at 1340 Murchison Drive.