On August 31, community partners in Baton Rouge, La. sponsored the inaugural Youth Education AIDS/HIV Awareness Rally to provide HIV prevention education and free testing with counseling in Howell Park. The rally's theme was "know your status."
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Event Planner Rogers Cooper stated that Affordable Pharmacy recognized an urgent need and organized the rally in response to increasing requests for help from HIV-infected teenagers. The Baton Rouge AIDS Society mobile health van and Metro Health provided free HIV testing and counseling during the event.
Baton Rouge AIDS Society Founder Rev. A.J. Johnson reported that Baton Rouge had the highest HIV incidence of any U.S. city and was similar to a person on the side of the road who needed assistance. Speaker Millicent Foster described her personal experience as an HIV-infected person and encouraged attendees not to "walk in her shoes." Baton Rouge AIDS Society Spokesperson Katya Ross stated that the society's mobile health van also regularly provided free HIV testing and counseling at area nightclubs and community events.
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