HIV, AIDS & STD testing is Tuesday

Published 5:29 pm Friday, April 8, 2011

On April 12 the Soul of Courage Health Initiative will host another in a series of health fairs and programs for the community to help aid in public awareness about HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted disease.

The Soul of Courage health initiative is the brainchild of Liz Klymenko, a registered nurse who moved back to her native rural Alabama from New York to help educate the public.

Her organization is the result of a successful awareness and testing program funded by grant funds, and they are in the process of applying for status to be considered a non-profit organization.

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Tuesday’s screening will provide free HIV and AIDS testing as well as testing for STDs.

The event will be held at the Theo Ratliff Center at noon.

Although HIV/AIDS has faded from the media spotlight in the last several years, research shows it is still a prevalent and serious problem, and Klymenko said now is just as good a time as any for people to get tested. She added that the prevelence of sexually transmitted diseases are beginning to skyrocket.

In the past, Klymenko said communities have shied away from the message of education due to conflicts of moral and religious doctrinal beliefs and views.

“We have to deal in reality,” she said. “We are not advocating sexual relationships, but they happen and you have to deal with the hand that was dealt to you.”

All testing is provided free of charge. There will be no needles used and the results are confidential. Screening will be done by Selma AIR and Alabama Department of Public Health Area Seven Coordinator, Janice Robbins. HIV test results will be available within 20 minutes of testing.

Lunch will be served.