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DOH Leon & Partners Recognize National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

By Pamela Saulsby

September 23, 2021

DOH Leon & Partners Recognize National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 

DOH Leon & Partners Recognize National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NGMHAAD) will be observed on Monday, September 27 to raise gay men's awareness of the HIV epidemic and the role they can play in bringing HIV to an end. In observance of  this annual commemoration, the Florida Department of Health in Leon County (DOH Leon) is urging gay men to get tested, talk with their partners about testing, get connected to medical care if they are HIV positive, and remain connected to care and adherent to their HIV medications.

DOH Leon HIV/AIDS specialists are partnering with community organizations to provide education and resources for several scheduled community events recognizing NGMHAAD. These offerings include: At-Home HIV Testing Kits, PrEP Coordinators present on-site to set appointments for PrEP, condoms, HIV prevention brochures, and promotional items to encourage rapid HIV testing.

An outreach team will participate in events that include: sharing prevention facts and offering free testing at a Paint and Sip Party on September 24; participating in a Pride Picnic at Tom Brown park on September 25; and staffing a FDOH Mobile Medical Unit for testing and educational outreach at 926 Bar & Grill on September 29.

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

Please note that all events are open and welcoming to friends and allies of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and queer or questioning community.

DOH Leon believes these kinds of outreach events are critical. Timely linkage to medical care and proper adherence to HIV medication is critical to ensure the best possible health for the individual and to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus to others.

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

As part of the Florida Department of Health in Leon County’s (DOH Leon) strategic efforts to eliminate HIV in Florida, the Department offers access to free or low-cost Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) medication. For information on the program, clinic hours, and what to expect during your first visit, please call the DOH-Leon clinic at 850-404-6240 or 1-800-FLA-AIDS.

For more information on HIV testing, PrEP, or other HIV prevention methods call the Florida HIV/AIDS Hotline at 1-800-FLA-AIDS or 1-800-352-2437; En Español, 1-800-545-SIDA; In Creole, 1-800-AIDS-101. To chat with a live counselor at the Florida HIV/AIDS Hotline, visit www.211bigbend.org/flhivaidshotline

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