On Thursday, Governor Deal will renew Georgia's commitment to preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, developing and delivering more effective treatment, and finding a cure, by proclaiming December 1, 2011 to be World AIDS Day in Georgia. Georgia will join countries around the world to recognize World AIDS Day. The first ever global health day, World AIDS Day unites people in the fight against HIV, shows their support for people living with HIV, and commemorates those who have died.

The North Georgia Health District's Living Bridge Center is observing World AIDS Day this year by providing free HIV Testing and Counseling on December 1st from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the lower level of the Pope Student Center at Dalton State College. This particular testing will involve no needles. Instead, the Orasure, or oral test method, will be used. In addition to free HIV testing and counseling, the Living Bridge Center staff will provide participants with goody bags in recognition of World AIDS Day.

State and local HIV/AIDS staff work tirelessly year-round to address the HIV epidemic in Georgia. For the past two years, Georgia has implemented the T.E.S.T. Georgia Initiative, “Test. Educate. Support. Treat.” The goal is to increase HIV testing opportunities for those disproportionately affected by HIV, and for those who test positive, link them to clinical care and other supportive services.

For more information regarding World AIDS Day, free testing at Dalton State College on Thursday, or other questions about HIV/AIDS testing and counseling, please call the Living Bridge Center at 706-281-2360.

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