More than 16,000 people living in Houston know they are HIV positive. But a campaign is underway in the Bayou city to reach out the population of people who may be infected and don’t know it.
“People need to know their status. Whether positive or negative,” said Houston Mayor Annise Parker.
Sunday, Mayor Parker started her morning on the radio on Magic 102 with a Hollywood A-lister, actress Regina King.
“More cities need to follow what Houston is doing. That is why I’m here to see what you’re doing and hopefully spread the word around the country,” said Regina King.
King is best known for her silver screen roles in “Poetic Justice,” “Jerry McGuire” and “Miss Congeniality 2.” She said spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS is her passion.
“Because of the industry I’m in. It’s near and dear to me. But you don’t have to be in Hollywood to be affected by this disease either directly or indirectly,” said King.
Free HIV screening has been taking place across Houston since Thursday. Leading up to Sunday which is the National Day of Testing. Anyone sexually active is urged to get tested.
“This is not a gay man’s disease. The numbers of women who thought they were in a monogamous relationship now living with HIV are going up. Women need to get tested and know their status,” said Parker.
The free testing is done with a simple blood sample and results are ready in about 20 minutes.