Local leaders raise awareness, share resources on World AIDS Day

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Education and local resources are highlighted as World AIDS Day is recognized around the globe.

This day of reflection for those lost by the disease started in 1988 and has grown to raise awareness every year on Dec. 1 about HIV and AIDS until a cure is found.

Dusty Church, board co-chair of the First City Pride Center in Savannah, says recognition of World AIDS Day is vital, especially to a community hit so hard by the disease.

“There is no reason to not use every tool in the tool kit to prevent HIV infections in our community,” said Church.

The First City Pride Center offers free HIV testing at its location in Savannah, as well as mental health and other resources for those suffering from the disease.

Testing and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is also available through the Coastal Health District at various locations.

For some LGBTQ+ individuals, Church says it is difficult to find local medical providers that are knowledgeable and willing to prescribe PrEP to interested individuals.

Church says it’s important for community members to know that there are plenty of available resources to those in the community and that this disease is manageable.

“It doesn’t have to be something that changes your life dramatically,” he said. “We just have to continue to have this discussion.”

He says efforts to raise awareness about resources available to those who need it have also been helped through partnerships with the City of Savannah and the PROUD Savannah Task Force.

Learn more about World AIDS Day and how you can help here.

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