Equality Texarkana has partnered with ARcare, SWA-NET HIV Coalition, and Special Health Resources of East Texas and on Friday, December 1, 2017 Equality Texarkana will host an eventful day where they will commemorate those lost to AIDS related illnesses, those who are living and thriving with HIV, in addition to providing free HIV testing, information, giveaways, and lots more! The day will begin at 11:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m., at 300 East 6th Street, Texarkana, Arkansas, in the AHEC Lecture Hall–located upstairs. During this time, there will be free HIV testing, at absolutely no costs to the patrons. The HIV tests provided are administered via mouth swab and are pain free, again–there is no costs to patrons.
“World AIDS Day was first instituted on December 1, 1988. Historically, WAD has been a sacred opportunity to remember those who were lost to HIV in the previous year. Those lost to HIV are too often people who were not memorialized by family or friends due to the virus. It also serves to celebrate those who are living with and surviving HIV. Rarely, are people living with HIV recognized for their struggle. They often must demonstrate great courage in the face of a disease that cannot be cured. Finally, WAD is a day to rally the minds and hearts of people to end the isolation of people living with HIV, end the stigma associated with HIV, develop a deeper understanding of HIV, and takes steps to end HIV transmission by getting screened for HIV.
Following the 11:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. free HIV testing event everyone will meet from 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. at the Dowd Pocket Park–located just east of East Broad Street and North Stateline Avenue intersection. During the second half of this day there will be speakers talking about their experiences of living and thriving with HIV and a presentation from ARcare highlighting the important information about HIV and AIDS. All of the organizations present will have literature pertaining to HIV, AIDS, and other STIs, contraceptives, etc. available for event goers to take home. There will also be a visually creative and soul stirring ceremony to commemorate those we’ve lost to AIDS-related illnesses and those who live strong and thrive with the virus until there is a cure. We will end the event and the day with a united candlelight ceremony.
Join Equality Texarkana, ARcare, SHRETS, and SWA-NET HIV Coalition as we strive to accomplish these goals.