HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hattiesburg's AIDS Services Coalition, along with the Forrest County Health Department and Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative, hosted an event Saturday at Vernon Dahmer Park that offered Hub City residents the opportunity to get a free test for HIV.
It was in recognition of National HIV Testing Awareness Day.
Organizers said dozens of people dropped by the First Tee Community Center for the test and free handouts about HIV and AIDS.
"The south is particularly decimated by HIV and we're trying to make sure people understand that there is no reason not to get tested," said Kathy Garner, executive director of the AIDS Services Coalition. "And if you are HIV positive, it is a very treatable illness, so we want people to know that they need to be tested, they need to get in care and get on with their lives."
Mississippi leads in the nation in the number of new HIV infections among young teens and young adults.