QUINCY, IL — World AIDS Day, observed annually on December 1, serves as a global movement to unite people in the ongoing battle against HIV and AIDS. On this day, the Quincy ARISE Coalition is hosting a community event titled “Putting Ourselves to the Test – Achieving Equity to End HIV.”

The event, which will take place from 3 – 7 p.m. at the Quincy Senior Family and Resource Center located at 639 York St., is organized by the Quincy ARISE Coalition. The coalition is a partnership among Quincy Medical Group (QMG), YWCA Quincy, Bella Ease, and the Adams County Health Department to address healthcare inequities in the Quincy community.

Attendees of the event will have the opportunity to interact with healthcare professionals, including QMG Infectious Disease Physician Hala Saad, MD. Dr. Saad will be available to address questions and share information on the latest advancements in HIV prevention and treatment, such as injectable HIV medications. The Adams County Health Department will also be present, offering free HIV testing from 4 to 6 p.m.

The event aims to eliminate the stigma associated with HIV, as Dr. Saad shared, “Reducing stigma creates an environment where individuals feel more comfortable discussing HIV openly. This fosters honest conversations about prevention, transmission, and treatment.”

Marissa Radcliffe, Community Health Worker at QMG, said attendees will experience a fun and informative afternoon, stating, “We want participants to leave with knowledge, a better understanding that HIV is not a death sentence, and of ways they can support friends, family, or others who have received a positive diagnosis.”

Various organizations will be on-site, providing information and resources to enhance understanding of HIV-related issues. Additionally, there will be an art contest with the theme “U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable)” to creatively spread the message of HIV prevention.

“Putting Ourselves to the Test – Achieving Equity to End HIV” is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.