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Health Department to offer free HIV/STD screening at VIVA Fort Myers Saturday

By Staff | Sep 20, 2019

The Florida Department of Health in Lee County, in partnership, with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, will participate in the first VIVA Fort Myers in celebration of National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day this Saturday.The Health Department will provide free HIV/STD awareness, prevention, and screening at the event to be held from 2- 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at Centennial Park.

VIVA Fort Myers is co-organized by Businesses Supporting Communities and Southwest Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The event is family-friendly and will include a free kid’s play area with inflatables, a rock-wall, arts & crafts, and more for children of all ages.

National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day is observed each year on Oct. 15 to increase awareness of the impact of HIV/AIDS on the Hispanic/Latino population in the United States. Hispanic/Latinos in the United States (US) are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS. They represent 18% of the US population yet accounted for almost for 26% of the 40,324 new HIV diagnoses in 2016 in the United States and 6 dependent areas. Factors such as lack of health insurance, language barriers, lack of familiarity with the US healthcare system and stigma often limit the health care access of Hispanics/Latinos in the US, thereby limiting opportunities for HIV/AIDS screening and treatment. Given that Hispanics/Latinos are the largest and fastest growing minority group in the US, addressing HIV/AIDS in their community is important to the nation’s health.

Centennial Park is at 2000 West First Street, Fort Myers.