Lexington nonprofit offering free HIV testing, gift cards Thursday

Originally published by WEKU.

Three sites in Lexington will be offering free and confidential HIV testing Thursday – and, as an incentive, Walmart gift cards. Jon Michael Parker is the executive director of AVOL Kentucky, which is headquartered in Lexington.

“We’re able to help raise awareness and bring about more awareness of HIV. It’s still an issue we need to keep addressing, but you also kind of get connected to the other services we have available. We have HIV prevention supplies.”

Parker said AVOL Kentucky has a new program that connects people through telehealth to PrEP, the once-daily medication that prevents HIV transmission. He said the days when an HIV-positive test was a death sentence are long gone, but it’s still important to begin treatment early.

“When someone tests positive for HIV, connecting them to care really helps get them on their way to being what’s called undetectable. And it’s a very low level of virus in the body, so much so that you can’t give it to another person.”

Parker said AVOL Kentucky’s mission, which is shared by organizations around the world, is to end HIV by 2030.

Free HIV testing schedule

AVOL Kentucky, Stonewall Terrace, weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Walgreens, 2001 Harrodsburg Road, Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Douglass Park, 726 Georgetown Street, Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

** WEKU is working hard to be a leading source for public service, and fact-based journalism. Monthly supporters are the top funding source for this growing nonprofit news organization. Please join others in your community who support WEKU by making your donation.

Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.