HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg-based AIDS Services Coalition hosted a free event Saturday to encourage people to get tested for HIV.
In recognition of the upcoming National HIV Testing Day, the organization offered tests, free of charge, at the First Tee Community Center at Vernon Dahmer Park.
Free brochures about HIV and AIDS were also available.
June 27 is National HIV Testing Day.
"It's really important for the community to know their status and also, when you do find out, that you can get some help," said Claudette Ward, development director for the AIDS Services Coalition. "Also, there are ways to prevent, so if you don't have it, if you come in and get tested, you can find out ways to prevent it."
According to the AIDS Services Coalition, there are an estimated 1.2 million people in the U.S. living with HIV.
And according to the Mississippi State Department of Health, 10,000 people in Mississippi have HIV.