Spreading The Word

1 decade 11 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, June 28 2007 Jun 28, 2007 Thursday, June 28, 2007 2:06:50 PM CDT June 28, 2007 in News

Boone County Health Department handed out about 200 flyers at the adult games Moonlight Hoops on Tuesday night, hoping members of the community would show up to get the free HIV tests on Wednesday. The health department said getting tested is easy and confidential.

"I think it sets you at a peace of mind, just knowing your status and ... knowing that you're making safe and healthy decisions," volunteer Jake Hammel said.

Hammel took the free oral HIV test at the student health center in hopes of encouraging others to do the same.

"We're hoping to get a thousand, but that's a pretty big goal, so we'd be happy with a hundred," Kimberly Wright, from RAIN, said.

Officials said the stigma attached to testing keeps a lot of people from getting tested. However, they want to assure the community that there is nothing wrong with getting tested.

"It just means that you're taking control. We've all made mistakes, participated in risky behavior and we've either gotten by with it or we haven't, depending on what type of behavior it is. This is any easy thing to resolve," Wright said.

Health Department officials stress testing is always free at the health department and at the RAIN office.

Contact the RAIN office at (573) 875-8687.

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