Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4061 - Brittany Davis-Green - firstname.lastname@example.org
CLARKSDALE – In honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness month, Coahoma Community College hosted its annual “Know Your Status” event that included free HIV testing and educational resources for students, faculty, staff and the community.
During the event, hosted Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Pinnacle, more than 65 Tigers learned their HIV status.
“Our goal was to bring resources to students, faculty and staff so that they’ll be aware of their HIV status,” said CCC Nurse Althsicia Gooden, one of the event’s organizers. “I think the event was very successful. We had both young an old to come out …We were supposed to end at 2 p.m. but ended up wrapping up about 2:40 p.m.”
According to Gooden, the painless test provided confidential results within 20 minutes and those participating received a free red jacket in honor of HIV awareness.
In addition to free testing, the event was also an opportunity to educate the campus regarding stereotypes about living with HIV/AIDS.
“I had one student make the comment that he doesn’t want to know his status because if he does have HIV his life is over,” said Gooden. “I informed him that his life would not be over and that HIV/AIDS is not the death sentence it once was thanks to new research and medication. It’s possible to live a long life with a positive status, but it’s imperative that you first know your status.”
The event was made possible through partnerships with the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Center, the Mississippi Women's Foundation and the Clarksdale-Marks Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
“We’re certainly grateful to the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Center. Every year we can count on them to provide the testing equipment, their staff and educational materials at no cost to the college,” Gooden said.
Other vendors participating included United HealthCare and the Marks, MS-based Delta Health Partners Health Start Initiative.
Those who missed the event can still learn their status by visiting one of three Aaron E. Henry Community Health Center sites located in Clarksdale, Tunica or Batesville.
CLICK HERE to view photos from the event on CCC's Facebook page!