On Wednesday, local providers joined an HIV clinic open house and resource fair in Silver Spring to mark World AIDS Day.
As of last year, about 3,544 Montgomery County residents were living with diagnosed HIV, according to a report from county Health and Human Services (DHHS). HIV is an infection that can lead to AIDS, which is potentially life threatening. The Dennis Avenue Health Center offers free walk-in rapid testing for HIV and also provides free and low-cost treatment to eligible residents.
“Please get tested, it’s for your own good, it’s for you to be knowledgeable for yourself, for your body,” said Domonique Smith, representing the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Us Helping Us, which is aimed at health services for communities of color and reducing effects of HIV/AIDS in the Black community.
Community partners and attendees at the clinic briefly held a candlelight vigil outside to commemorate lives lost to AIDS.
A vigil for World AIDS Day outside the Dennis Avenue Health Center in Silver Spring. @mymcmedia pic.twitter.com/XnMx6nInEy
— Maryam Shahzad (@maryam_mcm) December 2, 2021