Western North Carolina AIDS Project Tackles National HIV Testing Day to Raise Awareness of Epidemic
WNCAP Contact to set up interviews: Lucy Doyle, 828-252-7489
One in seven. That’s how many people living with HIV that don’t know they carry the virus, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates. To bring awareness to this health crisis in the American South, the Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP) is providing free, rapid HIV testing on National HIV Testing Day Tuesday, June 27 from 1:30pm — 4:00pm at Firestorm Books and Coffee (610 Haywood Rd, Asheville 28806). With some of the highest rates of HIV diagnoses in the country, North Carolina is at the epicenter of an epidemic.
WNCAP is partnering with the Steady Collective to bring syringe exchange, HIV testing, and education to west Asheville. Of all North Carolinians diagnosed with HIV in 2016, 9.4% of men and 19.3% of women were infected through intravenous drug use, such as opioids. In Buncombe county alone, about 50 people die from overdoses per year. The new face of HIV/AIDS is changing, and WNCAP is working to raise awareness of opioids and HIV through testing, syringe access programs, and educational outreach.
Trained Prevention Specialists will be available onsite on National HIV Testing Day to answer any and all questions about HIV and AIDS with the aim of destigmatizing the virus. Stop in for a cup of coffee and take a quick test. Rapid HIV testing takes about 20 minutes for a result to generate either positive or negative. WNCAP specialists are trained to answer questions with a confidential, nonjudgmental, and LGBTQ-friendly attitude.
WNCAP provides HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs throughout the 18 counties of Western North Carolina. WNCAP’s testing services are free and confidential for HIV, Hepatitis C, and Syphilis. They also provide Case Management Services to people living with the disease helping them to live more engaged and healthy lives. Donations are greatly appreciated and of the utmost value to WNCAP. To learn more about WNCAP’s National HIV Testing Day event and our syringe access program or testing events, you can visit wncap.org or stay up-to-date with WNCAP’s Facebook page.