MEMPHIS, Tenn. — December 1st is World AIDS Day, an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic and mourning the people who have died from it.
The Shelby County Health Department is partnering with a number of local organizations to raise awareness at a local level.
On Wednesday, people can receive free and confidential HIV testing at the department's sexual health clinic located at 814 Jefferson Ave in room 102.
No appointments are needed.
Southern states have the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses.
In 2018, the CDC ranked Memphis metro fourth in the country in its rate of new HIV diagnoses. It was also ranked first in new AIDS diagnoses.
According to the CDC, as many as one in seven people who have the virus don't know it. That's why HIV testing is so important.
This year, End HIV 901, was created to reduce the spread by 90% by 2030. It's led by St. Jude and plans to increase awareness and education about the virus.
On Wednesday night, the local chapter of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program will host its annual World AIDS Day Program. The ceremony honors those who have died from HIV/AIDS.
It begins at 5:30 p.m. at the FedExForum. The public is invited to attend.