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Win gift cards, smart TV during free HIV testing event on Tuesday

Crystal Johnson, Medical Case Manager, Special Health Services with Project Unity, says Tuesday's event was born out of the lack of access to free testing in the Bryan-College Station area.
Crystal Johnson, Medical Case Manager, Special Health Services with Project Unity, says Tuesday's event was born out of the lack of access to free testing in the Bryan-College Station area.(KBTX)
Published: Mar. 1, 2020 at 8:19 PM CST
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Project Unity is hosting a free HIV testing event next month with participants being entered into a raffle for great prizes.

The block party will include food, games, raffles, and prizes at Project Unity's Beck Street house at 1400 Beck Street in Bryan.

The event is planned Tuesday, March 3rd from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Testing will be provided by Bee Busy, Inc. and all information and results are kept confidential to comply with HIPAA regulations.

to go to the event Facebook page.

"At the event, we'll have food and games for people while they wait to receive their test but the whole idea is that we're trying to bring everything to the community in one place which means we'll have the HIV tests with immediate results, a doctor who can prescribe the medication, a pharmacist who can provide the medication and Project Unity will be there to help uninsured clients pay for the medication and medical care if diagnosed," said Project Unity Medical Case Manager Crystal Johnson.

"The idea was born out of a lack of access to free testing in our area. Other places like New Orleans and Los Angeles are radically declining in new HIV infection rates because they're getting people on medication the same day they're diagnosed, whereas it normally takes about 2 months between getting a positive result and getting a prescription," said Johnson.

"If we can get people tested and on medication the same day, we'll dramatically decrease the infection rates in our community too," said Johnson.

To learn more about Project Unity and the services provided you can

The Texas Department of State Health Services released a report in December 2019 stating that Bryan is number 38 out of the top 50 Texas cities with HIV and AIDS diagnoses in 2018.

You can see that statistic on page 32 of

On page 30 of that report, Brazos County is listed as one of the top 25 counties in Texas with people who are living with HIV and HIV diagnoses.

From the

1 in 2 people with HIV have had the virus at least 3 years before diagnosis.

About 40% of new HIV infections come from people who don’t know they have HIV.

7 in 10 people at high risk for HIV who weren’t tested last year saw a healthcare provider during that year.

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