The Saint Joseph Health Department along with community partners P.E.A.C.E., State Street Bank and Trust of Kansas City and Zion United Church of Christ celebrated World AIDS Day by offering free services to the community.
The partnership offered free HIV and STD testing to people earlier today and is planning a candlelight memorial service this evening. Those attending the candlelight series are encouraged to wear a red ribbon as a symbol of support for HIV and AIDS prevention.
Event coordinators say that they hope that by providing the free tests and educating people about the risks associated with HIV and how testing can help others.
"If we were all tested then we could really identify who is living with HIV and who isn't and we could get people into care," HIV Services Supervisor, Kelly Kibirige said. "We could really see an end to large numbers of new positives every year."
World AIDS Day was created in 1988 by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) and is celebrated worldwide on Dec 1. Health officials say that it's a day to remember those who have died from AIDS and to remind others to get tested.
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