DOH Leon and Partners Recognize National Gay Men HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

DOH Leon & Partners Recognizes National Gay Men HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

DOH Leon & Partners Recognizes National Gay Men HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

National Gay Men HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NGMHAAD) will be celebrated on Monday, September 27 to raise awareness among gay men about the HIV epidemic and the role they can play in ending HIV. On this annual commemoration, the Florida Department of Health in Leon County (DOH Leon) urges gay men to get tested, talk with their test partners, connect to medical care s are HIV-positive and stay connected to care and adhere to their HIV medications.

DOH Leon HIV/AIDS specialists partner with community organizations to provide education and resources for several scheduled community events recognizing NGMHAAD. These offerings include: HIV home testing kits, PrEP coordinators on site to schedule PrEP appointments, condoms, HIV prevention brochures and promotional items to encourage rapid HIV testing.

An awareness team will participate in events that include: sharing prevention facts and offering free tests at a Paint and Sip party on September 24; participate in a Pride Picnic at Tom Brown Park on September 25; and staffing an FDOH mobile medical unit for testing and outreach at 926 Bar & Grill on September 29.

Details of all of these events are posted on the DOH Leon website in our upcoming events section: https://leon.floridahealth.gov/index.html

Please note that all events are open and welcoming to friends and allies from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning community.

DOH Leon thinks these types of outreach events are essential. Prompt linkage to medical care and good adherence to HIV medications are essential to ensure the best possible health for the individual and to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus to others.

At the end of 2019, there were 2,150 people living with HIV in Leon County and surrounding counties, representing a twenty-three percent (23%) decrease from the previous year. Seventy-one (71) people have been diagnosed with HIV for the first time, primarily in Leon County.

As part of the Florida Department of Health Leon County’s (DOH Leon) strategic efforts to eliminate HIV in Florida, the Department provides access to free or low-cost pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medications. For more information about the program, clinic hours, and what to expect on your first visit, please call the DOH-Leon Clinic at 850-404-6240 or 1-800-FLA-AIDS.

For more information about HIV testing, PrEP, or other HIV prevention methods, call the Florida HIV/AIDS Helpline at 1-800-FLA-AIDS or 1-800-352-2437 ; In Spanish, 1-800-545-SIDA; In Creole, 1-800-AIDS-101. To speak with a live counselor from the Florida HIV/AIDS Hotline, go to www.211bigbend.org/flhivaidshotline.

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