Montgomery, AL– Over 200 parents, children, and clergy attended The Bunny Hop Health and Hunt Expo on April 15th at Zion Fellowship United Methodist Church. The event was hosted by Trenholm State University and the Council on Substance Abuse- NCADD (COSA-NCADD) to observe National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD).
NYHAAD is an annual observance that takes place on April 10th to educate the public about the impact of HIV and AIDS on young people and to highlight the work young people are engaged in across the country to respond to the epidemic.
The Expo featured live music, local vendors, health screenings, and giveaways. Children were able to participate in activities including face painting, arts and crafts, and basketball. The Expo ended with an Easter egg Hunt.
Free HIV testing was also available during the event. With Oraquick, an oral swab test, the process for getting tested in now quick and painless. Results are available the same day, usually within 15- 20 minutes.
This event was one of many activities taking place through the Turn Around Project, a collaborative involving Trenholm State, COSA-NCADD and Montgomery Advocacy Outreach (MAO). The goal of this collaborative is to decrease the HIV infection and substance abuse use rates among college-aged adults through education and awareness efforts in Montgomery, AL.
“Education is important because when we don’t know our status, we don’t know how to maintain our health” said Charity Mitchell, Interim Director for the Turn Around Project. Ms. Mitchell hopes to get more churches involved with promoting HIV testing, education, and awareness.
According to the Alabama Department of Public Health 2014 HIV Surveillance Annual Report, a newly emerged diagnosed HIV infection group are adolescents and young adults (13-29 years). Also, nearly one-half (47%) of all newly diagnosed HIV infections were young adults in their 20’s.
For more information about the Turn Around Project and how to get involved, contact Satavia Mann, Project Coordinator at 334-262-1629 or email@example.com.
COSA-NCADD is a non-profit organization providing prevention and recovery support services in seven counties in Alabama. The organization’s mission is to “reduce the incidence and prevalence of the disease of alcoholism, other drug addiction diseases, and related problems.” For more information about COSA-NCADD’s programs and services, call 334-262-1629 or visit www.cosancadd.org.