HIV/AIDS Awareness Walk scheduled for May 21


(WJET/WFXP/ — The annual Erie County HIV/AIDS Awareness Walk will take place on Saturday.

The event begins at noon on May 21 at Adagio Health Erie (3530 Peach St. in Erie).

“We invite everyone to join us for the approximately 1.5 mile walk. Everyone has power over their health. We can all help prevent the spread of HIV,” said Gary Snyder, HIV specialist. HIV intervention at the Erie County Health Department.

This is the fifth year for the free event, which is hosted by the Erie County HIV Task Force and the Erie County Health Department. Health education on HIV and free testing for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) will be provided on site by Adagio Health.

Supporters and participants in this year’s walk include Community Health Net, Erie Gay News, Nicotine Free Northwest Pennsylvania, Northwest Pennsylvania Pride Alliance, Pennsylvania Thrive Partnership and SafeNet.

HIV is a virus that causes AIDS, a disease that interferes with the body’s ability to fight infection, the event announcement said.

According to an event announcement from the county health department, 2019 data shows about 1,189,700 people living with HIV in the United States, and about 13% of those people were undiagnosed. It is estimated that one in eight people are living with HIV without knowing they have the disease.

“We strongly encourage all members of the community who are sexually active or who share needles for intravenous (IV) medications to get tested for HIV,” Snyder said. “Discuss with your health care provider ways to reduce your risk of getting HIV and annual HIV testing as part of your medical care. Test results can help determine appropriate care and treatment if needed.

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