Red ribbons on lapels around the globe signify World AIDS Day every December 1.
If you don’t already know your status, today is a great reminder to get yourself tested – out of love for your partner and for yourself. If you’re in the St. Louis area, local writer and personality, Sean Collins, has collected a list of places offering free or reduced cost testing today.
If you or someone you love is currently living with a diagnosis, the St. Louis region offers quality and compassionate resources to make life more comfortable, to raise awareness and research funding and provide prevention education.
St. Louis Effort for AIDS (EFA) – Since 1985, EFA has helped raise research funds and promote awareness and education about AIDS and, by doing so, reduce the stigma associated with a diagnosis. EFA seeks to address the gaps in AIDS care through their BEACON Project by connecting people to doctors and treatment.
Project ARK – A collaborative effort between St. Louis’ best hospitals and top research university, Project ARK is a voice for children, youth, and women living with AIDS. Project ARK provides services, support groups, and healthcare options.
Food Outreach – Food Outreach is an organization that seeks to provide nutritional support for anyone living with HIV/AIDS or Cancer. These patients have unique nutritional needs and Food Outreach staff helps optimize their meals to enhance the life-saving benefits of medications. No one should have to choose between eating or treating their illness, so Food Outreach helps stock the cupboards, too.
Doorways – Eliminating the barriers to stable housing has been shown to increase the effectiveness of AIDS treatment, yet up to half of persons diagnosed will risk homelessness during their treatment. Doorways is an interfaith housing nonprofit that believes housing is an integral part of the healthcare system. Doorways provides housing and support services to those effected by HIV/AIDS.
Additional information and resources can be found via St. Louis LGBT History Project.