Free, confidential HIV testing offered Tuesday in Avon | VailDaily.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Free, confidential HIV testing offered Tuesday in Avon

Are you positive that you’re negative? The only way to know is to get tested

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested for HIV at least once as part of their routine health care, which also helps reduce stigma.
AP file

Red Ribbon Project is offering free, confidential HIV testing on Tuesday, March 22, at Doctors on Call in Avon, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. No appointment is necessary, and walk-ins are welcome, with results in 20 minutes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested for HIV at least once as part of their routine health care, which also helps reduce stigma.

As we mark 40 years since the first reported cases of HIV-related illnesses and deaths, we can see how far we’ve come since the times when being diagnosed with HIV was a death sentence. Now, according to the CDC, 98% of people living with HIV are on effective treatment and 97% can’t pass the virus on. Approximately 1.2 million people in the U.S. live with HIV. About 13% of them don’t know it and need testing. HIV continues to have a disproportionate impact on certain populations, particularly racial and ethnic minorities and gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. In 2019, an estimated 34,800 new HIV infections occurred in the United States.



Recent research found 63% of the public do not remember seeing or hearing about HIV in the past six months. One in five think you can acquire HIV through kissing. Only 16% knew if someone is on effective treatment, they can’t pass on HIV and can expect to live a long and healthy life.

Red Ribbon Project is a small, 26-year-old nonprofit. When it first started, in 1996, its focus was awareness and prevention of HIV/AIDS in Eagle County. A cornerstone of the organization is community-wide free, rapid and confidential HIV testing offered several times throughout the year.



Another cornerstone is the expanded focus to include comprehensive age-appropriate sexual health education for fifth-12th graders. Red Ribbon Project is dedicated to providing education and services to keep our local population healthy and give them a safe place to ask questions.

RRP fills gaps that area schools cannot always deliver on their own. The topics it focuses on are often the more difficult ones to speak about: age-appropriate sexual health education, the importance of STI/HIV testing, consent, risk behavior prevention strategies, all of which has helped reduced teenage pregnancy 80% over the past 13 years. RRP relies on science and best practices in educating Eagle County children, helping provide them the facts to make best choices.

Getting an HIV test shows you care about yourself and your partner. It is part of taking care of yourself. Are you positive that you are negative? The only way to know for sure is to get tested. Facing an HIV test may not be easy, but it is the right thing to do. It is better to know so you can take action as needed.

How can you encourage others to get tested? Talk about it. Do you have adolescents or young adults that you care about? Encourage them to get tested. Eliminate stigma. Lead by example. Make sure they know that HIV happens to people like us, not just “those people.” The fear of being judged prevents so many people from being tested. As a community, let’s take a stand against discrimination and stand up for each other.

For more information, please contact Denise Kipp at denise@redribbonproject.org, email info@redribbonproject.org, call 970-827-5800, or visit RedRibbonProject.org.


Support Local Journalism