In recognition of National HIV Testing Day, the Metro Public Health Department offered free testing to the public at Tennessee State University Wednesday.
The event at TSU is one of several national HIV testing events held across the country in an effort to bring awareness to the importance of knowing your status.
“Just having that feeling like you don’t have it is the best feeling in the World,” said TSU senior Stephanie Parker.
TSU along with the Metro Public Health Department and other agencies hosted the one-day health fair. The events encourage people of all ages to “Take the Test, Take Control.”
Even Harold M. Love, Jr., a Democratic member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, representing District 58, wanted to bring awareness by getting tested.
“I think it’s important to help reduce the rate of HIV and AIDS in the African-American community and getting tested is the first step,” said Love.
According to the Center for Disease Control, nearly 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV and almost one in five are unaware they are infected.
This year, Nashville was ranked 22nd out of 25 cities in the U.S. with the highest number of HIV and AIDS cases reported.
Metro Public Health officials told News 2 college-aged Middle Tennessee students make-up the second largest number of new HIV cases reported.
“It’s very important for everyone to get tested. You never know what happens during your personal life or whatever you do so I believe this is very important,” said TSU senior Taylor Woods.