Valley Voices: Help stop spread of HIV/AIDS |

Valley Voices: Help stop spread of HIV/AIDS

Paula Palmateer
Vail, CO, Colorado

There are more than 1 million people in the United States living with HIV.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that some 56,300 Americans become infected each year, and of those Americans 1 in 4 have never been tested and is therefore unaware of his or her status.

Could you be one of them? The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested. Stop the spread. Learn your status.

The Red Ribbon Project of Eagle County will be hosting Free HIV Testing on Thursday, Nov. 20, from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Eagle Care Clinic, in Edwards and Friday, Nov. 21, from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Vail Interfaith Chapel.

No appointments are necessary. Walk-ins are welcome and results will be available within 10 minutes. All tests are confidential and every consultation includes thorough and supportive pre and post counseling.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Established in 1996, the Red Ribbon Project was initiated in response to the growing need in Eagle County for HIV/AIDS prevention, awareness, education and support for those infected and affected by the virus.

The Red Ribbon Project not only offers free testing six times a year, but also has developed a youth skills building program that offers a 14-session, comprehensive, age appropriate curriculum that will serve all the youth of Eagle County’s public and private in middle and high schools.

In addition to education of youth, Red Ribbon Project encourages Eagle County residents of all ages to think about the decisions they make and supports them in making healthy choices.

It is our belief that our words and, above all, our actions will reverse the course of HIV/AIDS. All of us have the power and the responsibility to make a difference.

We must act now and be a force for change.

You have the power to help stop the spread of HIV. If you have not been tested recently (or never) and have engaged in risky behavior, you could be spreading HIV to others.

Finding out that you have HIV is not a death sentence. Finding out early can save your life and the lives of those you love.

For more information or about how you might partner and/or volunteer with Red Ribbon Project, call 970-827-5900, e-mail at or visit our Web site at

For more information about HIV and AIDS, visit:

Free HIV testing is sponsored by: United Way of Eagle River Valley and First Bank of Vail.

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