More than 1 million Americans are living with HIV or AIDS. As part of World AIDS Day, the Brunswick County Health Department sponsored free heath screenings. Patricia Freeman is encouraging students at Brunswick Community College to get tested for AIDS. “This is important because it can be passed on from one generation to the next generation.” Freeman is member of the Health Department's Minority Infant Mortality Task Force, a program that promotes good health in babies in Brunswick County. She and her health team set up shop in front of campus. BCC students Justin Fulford and Rusty Oliver were inspired to get tested. Oliver said, “It was real easy, I didn't realize that he was done and I didn't feel a needle. Fulford added, “It felt good...it'll feel good to know whether or not I have it, but it felt good to get tested.” In 2006 the Center for Disease Control reported there were more than 1 million people that are living with AIDS in the US. Blacks make up 13 percent of the US population, but account for about 50 percent of the people living with the disease. Freeman believes a lack of education and fear of the disease keeps some minorities from getting tested. Eighteen year old Kemine Taylor was one of the few African-Americans who got tested Monday. “I feel good about it. I'm glad I took the test.” Freeman added, “It may hurt just a little bit or sting a little bit but the anticipation of the needle hurt is a lot less than the sting and the years of having HIV and not being aware of it.” Once someone gets an AIDS test, it usually takes 10-14 business days to get the results. If you would like to get tested, contact your area county's health department.
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