Savannah takes a stand on World AIDS Day
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SAVANNAH, Ga. () — As the world commemorates World AIDS Day, local and state organizations increased their efforts, offering free crucial testing and counseling services to empower the local community in the fight against HIV.

Friday afternoon in Forsyth Park, the Phoenix Project and Georgia Department of Public Health teamed up to provide free, confidential HIV tests.

They handed out OraQuick in-home tests, condoms and lubricant.

This event is held in the park every year on Dec. 1 for World AIDS Day, but The Phoenix Project, which is a part of Union Mission on 525 East 34th Street, always provides free testing and counseling.

To remember those who have died of AIDS, they put together a stand where participants could add a note to a loved one.

Roughly 39 million people in the world live with HIV, which is an immunodeficiency virus that attacks the body’s immune system.

If left untreated, HIV turns into AIDS which is the last stage of HIV and makes fighting off infection extremely difficult.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once.

The agency suggests talking about your sexual and drug-use history before having sex for the first time with a new partner.

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