BATH, N.Y. (WENY) -- The Southern Tier Sexual Health Coalition held an awareness event recognizing World AIDS Day. Community members gathered at Trillium Health on Buell Street in Bath. Trillium Health is a federally recognized health center with offices around the region.
During Thursday's event, a variety of local organizations hosted tables with educational and informational materials about HIV and AIDS as well as overall sexual health.
There were a number of free giveaways including condoms, at-home test kits and more. A topic discussed included "U Equals U." That stands for "undetectable equals untransmitable," essentially meaning, someone who is following their HIV medications, sticking to their appointments and no longer showing detection of HIV through standard lab testing, is then declared unable to transmit the disease.
"This is something that was recognized by the CDC within the past year. it is a great thing for those of us living with HIV in that it is probably the best tool we have to address stigma, which has been one of the hardest things faced by people living with HIV," says Rich Fowler, Consumer Relations Coordinator at Trillium Health.
World AIDS Day will be recognized globally on Saturday, December 1st. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the campaign.
On Saturday, the Chemung County Health Department and Chemung County Sexual Health Task Force will hold a World AIDS Day celebration at Steele Memorial Library from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. There will be a panel discussion of local experts talking about HIV in our community and advancements in HIV health care and prevention, like PrEP and PEP.
Additional resources can be found below.
TRILLIUM HEALTH: https://www.trilliumhealth.org/
CHEMUNG COUNTY SEXUAL HEALTH TASKFORCE: http://www.chemungcountyhealth.org/sexual-health-task-force
SOUTHERN TIER SEXUAL HEALTH COALITION: https://www.facebook.com/southerntiershc/