North Central Health District

COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENTS

COMPASS Cares and Community Partners Hosting Candlelight Vigil in Recognition of World AIDS Day

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Honoring and Remembering Those Impacted by HIV/AIDS

MACON – On Dec. 1, COMPASS Cares, North Central Health District (NCHD) and several community partner agencies are holding a candlelight vigil in recognition of World AIDS Day. Everyone is invited to attend this event at Tattnall Square Park, 1155 College St., in Macon on Dec. 1 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

This year marks the 33rd World AIDS Day, which serves as reminder that HIV/AIDS continues to be a public health issue that impacts millions across the globe. The day promotes HIV/AIDS education, awareness, prevention and treatment, and works to reduce stigma and encourage conversation.

“World AIDS Day is an opportunity for all communities to face a public health issue directly,” said NCHD Communicable Disease Health Educator Alan Wells, PhD, MPH. “One of the largest barriers to effective, impactful HIV/AIDS prevention is the stigma associated with it. World AIDS Day lets us have open, honest conversations about the status of our communities and the measures we can take to protect the health of each individual.”

This year’s candlelight vigil aims to unite the community to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and remember everyone that has been affected by and lost to HIV-related illnesses during the last year. Attendees will learn about the state of HIV/AIDS in Middle Georgia and the resources and agencies that are working to protect community members. In addition to COMPASS Cares and NCHD, partner agencies attending this event include:

  • Georgia Equality
  • Fort Valley State University Pride Navigator
  • H.A.R.P.
  • Reach to Impact Group, Inc.

Data from the CDC shows that the southern U.S. continues to have the highest rate of new HIV diagnoses in the country. As of 2019, there were 58,615 people living with diagnosed HIV in Georgia. Of that statewide total, 2,305 cases were within NCHD’s 13-county district. The Department of Public Health reported there were an estimated 10,500 undiagnosed people living with HIV in Georgia that year. Testing is the only way to know your HIV status. All 13 NCHD county health departments offer HIV testing. Find your nearest health department at NCHD52.org/Locations.

COMPASS Cares provides comprehensive services to those living with and those affected by HIV/AIDS. Each client receives a personalize approach to treatment including medical services, behavioral health services, peer counseling and assistance with housing, transportation and more. In addition, the COMPASS Cares pharmacy specializes in HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

Find additional HIV/AIDS resources and testing events at NCHD52.org/WorldAIDSDay. To learn more about NCHD’s HIV testing, care and treatment services, please call your local health department or visit NCHD52.org/HIV.

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